Brain nutrients are nutrients that are necessary for the brain to function properly or can boost brain function beyond normal functioning. Nutrients that are essential for normal biological functioning and cannot be made by our body by itself are called vitamins. Since the brain is such a complex organ with many structures all vitamins are necessary for a healthy brain, but several play a more dominant role.
So what vitamins play a role in maintaining a healthy brain? Especially b-vitamins seem to play a rol in this. Luckily all vitamins are taken in sufficient dosage when having a normal diet.
B1 or thiamine plays a critical role in neurochemistry, it is used in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and GABA. Thiamine intake is approriate with a normal diet, but deficiences can arise after extended periods of alcohol abuse (Korsakoff’s syndrome).
B2 or riboflavin is known as the yellow B-vitamin in it’s oxidized form. It supports normal functioning of the nervous system. Besides this it protects the brain from oxidative stress and reduces tiredness and fatigue.
B3 or thiamin is known for it’s dilating effect on veins. As a nutrient it supports normal functioning of the nervous system and psychological health. In NZT.1 it was added to promote cerebral bloodflow.
B5 or panthothenic acid is known to support normal cognitive functioning and to reduces mental tiredness and fatigue. It also plays a keyrole in the biosynthesis of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter involved in memory processes.
B6 is known for it’s supporting role in psychic health and positive effect on tiredness and fatigue. B6 is involved in biosynthesis of all the major neurotransmitters like serotonine, dopamine, serotonine, norepinephrine and GABA.
B12 or cobalamin is another important b-vitamin. People living a veganistic lifestyle will sometimes develope deficiencies that can cause loss of memory, fatigue and tiredness. In healthy subjects extra dosage of B-12 can boost mental energy.
Believe it or not, due to myeline sheets that cover nerves the fat content of the brain is around 60%. Of these DHA and EPA are major components. These fats are found in fish like salmon and hering. Of all the polyunsaturated fats in the brain 40% consists of DHA.
Besides structure and connections the brain also consists of many neurotransmitters. these are substances that bind to nerves and hence influence the activity of nerves. A major group are the catecholamines. They are derived of the amino acid Tyrosine. The path goes like this. Tyrosine is metabolized into L-Dopa, L-Dopa is metabolized to Dopamine, Dopamine to Norepinephrine and the last one to Epinephrine.