Tag Archives: Active B-Complex by Integrative Therapeutics

Brain Nutrients – Food for Thought

FoodForThoughtJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

While we primarily conceive of nutrition in terms of energy production and support for building and repair processes, throughout history, many cultures have traditionally used plant foods and spices as a means for prevention and protection against disease. In modern times, the ability of dietary factors to influence brain health are only now beginning to be recognized. Over the last decade, research has provided evidence that dietary components may influence mechanisms and molecular systems that maintain mental function, more specifically synaptic plasticity. Synapses or junctions, where virtually all important brain activity emerges, effectively control neuronal communication. Plasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt to new information; synaptic plasticity is the brain’s ability to strengthen or weaken the synaptic function as a result of learning. For example, repeating song lyrics strengthens the related connections in the brain that make it possible to easily recall the words.

A sharp mind and memory formation depend on the vitality of the brain’s network of interconnecting neurons. Research has established that synaptic activity, including synapse-specific modifications of synaptic strength, plays a vital role in learning and memory. The ability to learn and remember, as well as other mental and emotional processes, can be influenced by  factors such as stress, lack of stimulation or neurotoxins that may cause synapse dysfunction. A balanced diet, adequate amounts of physical activity, proper sleep, and healthy environmental interaction appear to have the potential to alter brain heath and mental function. Nutrients that influence cognition act on the necessary cellular processes for the maintenance of brain health. Encouraging results of clinical and preclinical studies raise the possibility that dietary interventions may be a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage, promoting repair, and counteracting the effects of aging.

Adults of all ages looking to preserve brain heath and function throughout their lifespan, should consider following a healthy lifestyle to help protect and strengthen the synapses that keep minds active and alert. Lifestyle tips for healthy brain function include stress reduction and relaxation techniques, brain stimulation though demanding intellectual tasks, cardiovascular exercise to oxygenate the brain, adequate sleep, not smoking, taking alcohol in moderation and eating a nutritious diet that includes brain supportive nutrients. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), select nutrients have the capacity to affect neural pathways associated with synaptic plasticity that positively affects cognitive function. These dietary components have been identified as having effects on membrane fluidity, the regulation of neurotransmitter pathways, synaptic transmission and signal-transduction pathways.

DHA Omega-3 essential fatty acids, specifically DHA, are normal constituents of cell membranes and are essential for normal brain function. Dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is one of the best-studied correlations between food and brain evolution. As the human body is not efficient at synthesizing DHA, we are largely dependent on dietary sources, such as oily fish, shellfish and algae. Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with increased risk of mental health disorders, including dementia and depression. DHA may enhance cognitive abilities by facilitating synaptic plasticity, or through its positive effects on metabolism, glucose utilization, and mitochondrial function.

Turmeric/Curcumin – Studies suggest that curcumin has bioactive antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective effects. Population studies have shown that those who regularly consume curcuminoids as part of their traditional cuisine, such as in India and Asia, scored significantly better on cognitive function tests. Chronic low-grade inflammation plays a major role in many degenerative conditions. Curcumin’s strong anti-inflammatory properties may inhibit inflammation at the molecular level to help prevent or fight chronic inflammation. Curcumin may also boost levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which supports synaptic plasticity and cognitive function, as well as the survival of existing neurons and the differentiation of new neurons.

Flavonoids – Flavonoids, phytochemicals found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, have been identified as promising bioactive compounds capable of influencing certain aspects of brain function, including cerebrovascular blood flow, and synaptic plasticity and strengthening. Dietary flavonoids are believed to have the potential to protect against neurotoxin damage, suppress neuroinflammation, and promote memory, learning and cognitive function.

B vitamins – Per the NIH, B complex vitamins are absolutely essential for every aspect of brain function. These synergistic micronutrients work at a cellular level to support energy production, healthy mood and cognitive performance, as well as DNA/RNA synthesis and repair, and the synthesis of numerous neurochemicals and signaling molecules.

CoQ10/Ubiquinol – Found in virtually all cell membranes, CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is a powerful antioxidant and a vital participant in oxygen utilization and cellular energy production. By aiding energy production and protecting organ cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage, CoQ10 supports the overall health of all bodily cells, organs and tissues. Animal studies have shown that oral administration of CoQ10 can exert neuroprotective effects that may prove useful in the future treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements in support of brain and overall health:

ProDHA 1000 mg...ProDHA 1000 mg Strawberry by Nordic Naturals®: This high potency formula offers research- backed benefits for brain, eye, and nervous system health, as well as emotional wellbeing. Sourced from purified deep sea fish oil. Natural strawberry flavor. Naturally preserved with rosemary extract and d-alpha tocopherol. Gluten free, no artificial ingredients, Non-GMO verified.

Ubiquinol-QH 100 mgUbiquinol-QH 100 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: This product provides Kaneka QH™, a readily absorbable, active antioxidant form of CoQ10, in support of cellular energy production, cardiovascular health and free radical protection. Gluten free, hypoallergenic, Non-GMO formulation.

Curcumin 500 with...Curcumin 500 with Bioperine by Pure Encapsulations®: This product supplies 500 mg of turmeric standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids in support of a healthy inflammatory response, cellular health, and healthy liver, colon and musculoskeletal function. Bioperine® is added for enhanced bioavailability and absorption. Gluten free, hypoallergenic, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

FlavonALLFlavonAll by Douglas Laboratories®: This broad-spectrum flavonoid-based supplement delivers eight of the most concentrated and well-researched standardized plant extracts highly regarded for their beneficial antioxidant properties. Ingredients include Pycnogenol®, as well as grape seed, bilberry, and milk thistle extracts. Soy free, vegan formulation.

Active B-ComplexActive B-Complex by Integrative Therapeutics®: This product provides the full complement of bioavailable B vitamins in support of numerous biochemical processes and overall healthy function. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.

References:
Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/
Boost your memory by eating right. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/boost-your-memory-by-eating-right
Nutrients for a Sharp Memory. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1217p24.shtml
4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory. https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/healthy-aging/memory-boosting-foods
Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimer’s Disease? https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/do-memory-problems-always-mean-alzheimers-disease
The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis: encoding, storage and persistence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3843897/
10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric
Flavonoids and brain health: multiple effects underpinned by common mechanisms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2775888/
Coenzyme Q10 administration increases brain mitochondrial concentrations and exerts neuroprotective effects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC21173/

 

All About Vitamin B6

B6_VitaminJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

One of eight in the family of water-soluble B-complex vitamins, vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient not synthesized or stored by the body. As a necessary coenzyme for numerous bodily functions, vitamin B6 must be obtained through a healthy diet or supplementation, as unused water-soluble vitamins are excreted daily through urination. There are several forms of this very versatile vitamin, some of which require conversion by the liver into a bioavailable form. Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate (PLP or P5P), a metabolically active, readily absorbable form that doesn’t require conversion, allows the full health benefits of vitamin B6 to be quickly and easily utilized by the body.

All B-complex vitamins aid in protein and fat metabolism, as well as the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose utilized for energy production. Found largely in protein-rich foods, whole grains and some vegetables and nuts, vitamin B6 status can impact both physical and mental health. Because B6 is involved in numerous enzymatic reactions, adequate levels are key for promoting and maintaining overall wellness, as well as the cognitive health of aging brains. Studies have found that the combination of vitamins B6, B12 and folate may play a role in slowing cognitive decline and age-related memory loss, suggesting that these vitamins may also decrease the risk of depression, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Potential benefits of vitamin B6 supplementation include:

Brain health – Necessary for proper brain development in children and for healthy brain function in people of all ages, poor vitamin B6 status may play a role in cognitive decline, as studies show associations between higher serum vitamin B6 concentrations and better memory test scores. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), B vitamins, particularly B6, B12 and folate are widely believed to be protective against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related loss of cognitive function.

Heavy metal chelation – Heavy metal induced toxicity resulting from chronic exposure may be affecting up to 25% of Americans. Found in the air, water, soil and our food supply, heavy metals can accumulate in the body. Even at minute levels, toxic metals can have detrimental effects on the integrity of the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, musculoskeletal, and immune systems. Vitamin B6 as PLP has been shown to inhibit cellular lead toxicity by mobilizing lead deposits in tissues and enhancing excretion of toxic metals through urination.

Glycation – Glycation occurs when a sugar molecule, such as glucose or fructose, bonds to a protein or lipid molecule without the controlling action of an enzyme. This results in the formation of non-functioning advanced glycation end products or AGE’s. While AGE’s are a normal consequence of aging, they are far from desirable, as glycation is associated with diabetes related conditions, cataract development, atherosclerosis, kidney failure, neurological impairment, and visible signs of skin aging. PLP has been described as the most potent natural substance for inhibiting AGE formation, helping to combat premature aging and the underlying loss of structure and function associated with accelerated aging.

Homocysteine – Homocysteine is a byproduct created during protein metabolism. High levels of homocysteine are implicated in increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, and are viewed as a potential predictor of Alzheimer’s disease. Randomized controlled trials have shown that vitamin B6 can effectively reduce homocysteine levels associated with heart disease development and age-related cognitive decline.

Neurotransmitter production –  B vitamins play a central role in the maintenance of nervous system health and function. Vitamin B6 is a necessary cofactor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA, melatonin and noradrenaline. These chemical messengers affect every bodily cell, tissue and organ system and regulate mood, emotions, sleep, cognition, energy, appetite, pleasure, fear, and the stress response.

Chronic stress, aging, certain medications, obesity, pregnancy, excessive alcohol consumption, and medical conditions, such as poor kidney function, impaired liver function, malabsorption syndromes, and autoimmune diseases can interfere with or block intestinal absorption of vitamin B6.  While it’s rare for healthy individuals to have a significant deficiency of B6, studies indicate that many individuals may be mildly deficient in all B vitamins, especially children and seniors. Marginal deficiencies in B vitamins can predispose individuals to a number of negative health consequences, including less than optimal brain function. Symptoms of deficiency can include muscle weakness, anemia, nervousness, depression, weakened immune function, difficulty concentrating, and short-term memory loss.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products to ensure optimal intake of B-Complex vitamins in support of overall wellness:

P-5-P 50 mgP-5-P 50 mg by Designs for Health®: Each capsule supplies 50 mg of the activated form of vitamin B6 in support of a wide range of biological actions. Wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, egg, dairy, sugar, and artificial ingredient free.

 

P5P50 (activated B6)P5P 50 (activated B6) by Pure Encapsulations®: Each vegetable capsule supplies 50 mg of active bioavailable vitamin B6 to provide beneficial nutritional support for a wide range of physiological functions. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic, vegetarian formulation.

 

P-5-P Pyridoxal-5...P-5-P Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate by Klaire Labs®: Particularly well suited for individuals with amino acid imbalances or nutritional deficiencies, this already converted and easy-to-assimilate form of vitamin B6 metabolite provides coenzyme support for numerous biological functions.  Gluten, soy, wheat, dairy, preservative and artificial ingredient free, Kosher-certified, hypoallergenic formulation.

 

Pyridoxal 5'...Pyridoxal 5’ Phosphate by Metabolic Maintenance: This two-ingredient supplement provides 50 mg of vitamin B6 as P5P and 250 mg of vitamin C in support of optimal bodily function. Excipient free, vegan formulation.

 

Active B-ComplexActive B-Complex by Integrative Therapeutics®: This active B-Complex provides a full complement of bioavailable B vitamins necessary for numerous biochemical processes. Gluten, soy, wheat, sugar, yeast, dairy, and preservative free, vegetarian, NSF-Certified formulation.

 

PureGenomics® B...PureGenomics® B-complex by Pure Encapsulations®: This gluten free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic, vegan formulation provides highly active broad-spectrum B vitamin support to address the nutrient requirements of methylation processes, as well as cellular, cardiovascular, neurological, and psychological health.

References:

What are the Benefits of Vitamin B6 to the Brain? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-vitamin-b6-brain-4217.html

Neurotransmitters. https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/neurotransmitter.html

B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/

Why vitamin B is so important for a healthy nervous system. https://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Healthy-Nerves/The-nervous-system-Other-B-vitamins-20120721

Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Vitamin B6. Penguin Group 2010.

Meniere’s Disease

MenieresDiseaseJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

First described in 1861 by French physician Prosper Meniere, Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, and a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear, as well as fluctuating hearing loss. Typically confined to one ear, symptoms may vary from person to person. Episodic attacks often happen in clusters and occur intermittently. Considered a chronic disease with no known scientifically validated cure or exact cause, it’s generally believed that fluctuating pressure of the fluid within the inner ear or abnormally enlarged fluid passageways contribute to the often debilitating symptoms.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no external noise is present. Commonly referred to as ringing in the ears, sounds can also include buzzing, hissing or swooshing. While tinnitus may be acute or chronic, it affects over 50 million Americans, mostly in middle age. Often associated with hearing loss, there are many health disorders that can generate tinnitus as a symptom, including age-related and noise-induced hearing loss. Blockages in the ear canal from excessive ear wax, head congestion, foreign objects, or dirt can cause pressure to build up in the inner ear, which can irritate or affect ear drum function. In many cases removal of any blockages can alleviate tinnitus symptoms. However, in some cases, the blockage may cause permanent damage and lead to chronic tinnitus.

Vertigo, a sense of rotational dizziness, can be temporary or chronic and is commonly found in those aged 65 years and older. Peripheral vertigo is linked to a disturbance of balance organs in the inner ear, while central vertigo is liked to a disturbance in parts of the brain known as sensory nerve pathways. While vertigo can be a symptom of many health conditions, is it one of a triad of symptoms of Meniere’s disease. Individuals with Meniere’s disease often have an abrupt onset of severe symptoms and fluctuating hearing loss, as well as periods of time in which they are symptom free. Vertigo attacks, which can last from a few minutes to 24 hours, often occur without warning and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The periods of remission between attacks can vary from days to months or even years, making Meniere’s disease an unpredictable and distressing condition.

The sensation of fullness or aural pressure, the third characteristic of Meniere’s, can be very uncomfortable and cause considerable distress. While the sensation can fluctuate with the acuteness of the condition, it can also become chronic, leaving one with a constant feeling of pressure. It’s widely believed that Meniere’s develops as a result of swelling in the small, fluid-filled chambers of the inner ear resulting in pressure. The ebb and flow of this pressure is believed to damage the delicate structure of the inner ear, as well as the balance structures of the semi-circular canals, resulting in cumulative damage and a decline in hearing levels over time.

In the early stages of Meniere’s, hearing levels return to normal between attacks. In the secondary state, hearing levels fluctuate, but do not return to normal. In the third stage, hearing loss, resulting in difficulty hearing in noisy situations or group conversations, is generally irreversible. Treatments aimed at reducing and controlling symptoms vary with individuals. These can include medications, diet and lifestyle improvements, tinnitus management, hearing aids and less often, surgical procedures when symptoms drastically interfere with normal daily life.

Lifestyle recommendations for self-management include:

-A reduced sodium diet, as salt levels regulate fluid balance. Lowering salt intake can to help decrease fluid in the inner ear and reduce pressure on nerve endings.

-Stress reduction, as anxiety is believed to be a major trigger in Meniere’s disease. Identifying and managing stressors may bring relief.

-Reasonable exercise, such as a brisk daily walk to stimulate circulation and aid blood flow.

-A higher protein, low refined carbohydrate diet to reduce blood insulin levels, which impair circulation.

-Not smoking, as smoking constricts blood vessels, and reduces blood flow to the tiny vessels that nourish the inner ear nerve endings.

-Reduced caffeine intake, as caffeinated beverages can worsen tinnitus symptoms. Those who restrict caffeine are known to significantly reduce attacks.

-Cognitive therapy, which some individuals find helpful to cope with the unexpected nature of the attacks and reduce the anxiety over future attacks.

-Identifying and addressing allergies, as the inflammatory symptoms of Meniere’s may be related to allergic reactions in up to one third of cases.

-Supplementing with pycnogenol, as this natural extract from French maritime pine bark may help to control symptoms. One study involving 120 patients showed that symptoms of Meniere’s disease, including the flow at cochlear level and tinnitus, significantly improved in those taking 150 mg/day of pycnogenol for six months as compared to the control group.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements to support overall wellness:

Manganese Chelate ...Manganese Chelate by Douglas Laboratories®: Manganese is a component of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). As the principal antioxidant enzyme in the mitochondria, MnSOD is known to be a powerful inflammation fighter. Manganese deficiency is linked to the onset of symptoms of Meniere’s disease, including tinnitus and vertigo, as well as glucose intolerance and nerve disorders. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

Pycnogenol® 100 mgPycnogenol® 100 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Used extensively in Japan to improve blood flow in the inner ear, pycnogenol has been shown to provide relief from symptoms of Meniere’s disease including tinnitus, dizziness, hearing loss, inner-ear pressure and unsteadiness. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic, vegetarian formulation.

Chromium (picolinate...Chromium Picolinate 200 mcg by Pure Encapsulations®: Individuals with Meniere’s often have high blood sugar levels. Chromium picolinate, a highly bioavailable form of chromium is formulated to promote heathy glucose and lipid metabolism. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic, vegetarian formulation.

Vitamin B-6 100 mg ...Vitamin B6 100 mg by Douglas Laboratories®: Clinical observations support adequate amounts of dietary vitamin B6 for the maintenance of healthy nervous system function. Vitamin B6 reduces fluid retention and is essential for glucose production. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

Active B-ComplexActive B Complex by Integrative Therapeutics: This supplement provides a full complement of bioavailable B vitamins necessary for healthy nervous system function, the repair of damaged nerve fibers and the reduction of nerve inflammation often seen in individuals with Meniere’s. Gluten, dairy, soy, sugar and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.

Vitamin C with...Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids 500 mg by Vital Nutrients: Particularly important for the structure of blood vessels, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient that has been shown in studies to improve symptoms of Meniere’s. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, and sugar free formulation.

References:
Meniere’s Disease. https://www.healthline.com/health/menieres-disease#symptoms1
Understanding the Facts. https://www.ata.org/understanding-facts
Vertigo: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/knowledge/160900/vertigo-causes-symptoms-treatments
Vertigo. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/vertigo/article_em.htm
Meniere’s disease. http://www.menieres.org.uk/information-and-support/symptoms-and-conditions/menieres-disease
Meniere’s Disease Diet: How to Eat to Reduce Your Symptoms Naturally. https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/natural-treatment-for-menieres-disease-diet-stress-reduction-and-more/
Improvement in symptoms and cochlear flow with pycnogenol in patients with Meniere’s disease and tinnitus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24988090
Balch, Phyllis A. CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition. Penguin Group, 2010