Who doesn’t wish they thought clearer, had better memory, slept like a rock, and were as mentally and emotionally unflappable as Gandhi?
Giving the brain the boost it needs with nootropics (substances that enhance cognitive function and memory), specific vitamins and minerals that support cell and nerve function, as well as precursors to neurotransmitter production and balance, in addition to botanicals, biomolecules, and oils—these will all assist with that.
Here to talk about this with us today on a brand new Randy and Christa Show is Stanford educated MD, Dr. James Lee.
Dr. Lee is a former anesthesiologist and this topic is highly personal to him because one day at work, he all of sudden could no longer see, and the left half of his face drooped. He had to stop working.
A year and a half later, after considerable and debilitating cognitive decline, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He said he went from feeling like his brain was a 10-lane superhighway that got cut down to two. He could no longer rely on this brain, and just like that, the career he worked so very hard for in anesthesiology was over.
As a doctor with an intent to heal, he wanted to rebuild his former brain—his 10-lane superhighway—and to make it better than it was before, as well as to find a way to help others do the same.
Today, he discusses this, with his extensive research on seven different substances or classes of nutrients that rebuild the brain and allow it to function the best it possibly can.
Nootropics are food substances that enhance memory and cognitive function.
Examples of nootropics include:
These food substances reduce oxidative stress in the brain, increase blood flow to the brain, calm and soothe excitatory neurotransmitters that cause anxiety, and stabilize mood.
All eight B vitamins are absolutely crucial to brain health and brain function. Different B vitamins help with different things.
Vitamin A is critical to the cultivation of new nerve cells.
Vitamin D is key to neural communication.
The other fat-soluble vitamins are also necessary for excellent brain health, as Vitamin E is an essential vitamin that reverses oxidative damage within the cell membrane of all neurons. Without it, neurons would simply accumulate damage, decrease in function and eventually not even be able to function at all.
Magnesium is the most important mineral in the body. It manages energy production and neurotransmitter release and helps the body produce its master antioxidant, glutathione. Many, if not most people, due to stress and excessive coffee and alcohol consumption, are depleted in magnesium.
Other key minerals that support brain function are:
Precursors are defined in biochemistry as substances from which another is formed (especially by a metabolic reaction). When speaking about the brain, most precursors are antioxidants, amino acids, and lipid compounds that help support neurotransmitter function, which ultimately regulates our hormones.
GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) is a key neurotransmitter, which actually blocks some neurotransmission, leading to a less aroused nervous system. This decreases anxiety and increases feelings of calm, for a deeper, better sleep and calmer days.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is another form of the amino acid L-tryptophan, which also makes the neurotransmitter serotonin.
L-Theanine is another amino acid—in this case, found in Green Tea. L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier, having a direct impact on the brain, most notably increasing brain serotonin and dopamine levels.
Other examples of precursors that move the needle on brain health are the amino acids:
The Indian herb ashwagandha modulates the stress response, feeds the thyroid, and calms the brain by reducing inflammation.
Ginger improves memory and attention.
Rhodiola protects the cells from damage, which helps increase mental capacity.
Bacopa Leaf Extract is used most typically for improving anxiety, memory, and attention, as well as serving as general stress relief and as a mood enhancer.
Phosphatidylserine is likely the most important biomolecule, as it binds to high cortisol and brings it down (helping you go from fight-or-flight mode to rest-and-digest mode) and is an important building block of cells, especially neurons.
Alpha-lipoic acid protects the cells from damage.
Phosphatidylcholine is found in eggs, mustard, sunflower seeds, and other foods. It’s a component of the neuronal cell wall, it's also a building block of the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in memory and learning, and helps with cognitive functions such as memory, in addition to dysfunctions such as anxiety, mood disorders, and even dementia.
CoQ10 is part of the Kreb’s cycle and thus important for cellular energy and function. It is found in fish, beef, chicken, nuts, and seeds and is also made naturally in the body.
DHA, EPA, flaxseed oil, and lecithin are all helpful oils to lower inflammation and to assist the cell membrane.
Please note: while we love the nootropics in this product to support brain health, we wish Dr. Lee's Liveli supplement used folate and methylcobalamin vs folic acid and cyanocobalamin (B12) since those are open sources of the vitamins. For those who struggle with methylation, we would recommend Neuro Mood Pure Pack as an alternative. These products are super convenient as they include everything you need for the day in one single packet.
Dr. Lee was so inspired by the research he found on all of these seven substances that he used them in combination to regain his own brain function and has now created a supplement line called Liveli that has them all in one place. This vitamin line, plus sleep, is what helped Dr. Lee recover the essential micronutrients he needed to get his 10-lane superhighway back. Now, after several clinical trials, it’s ready for the general public.
An interesting fact Dr. Lee mentions about sleep is that this is when the body breaks down beta-amyloid plaque.
Beta-amyloid plaque is a sticky buildup which accumulates outside nerve cells, or neurons, which is toxic to neurons in the brain and is a number one contributor to Alzheimer’s disease. So, make sure you’re getting your sleep.
If you need some help with that, we’ve got a blog you need to watch/read called 5 Natural Sleep Tips That Work.
How is your brain working and what kind of improvement would you like to see? Leave us a comment below and let us know!