Who doesn’t Need a Brain Boost?
Whether you’re a student studying for an exam, a working professional looking to stay sharp, a parent hoping to recall what is necessary for your children, a recent retiree experiencing a lag from less stimulation or a senior challenged by mild cognitive impairment (MCI), who couldn’t benefit from a brain boost? Now more than ever, given the pace of life and the prospect of living longer, our brains need all the support they can get.
You need a trustworthy brain to enjoy a high-quality life.When you find yourself struggling to learn something new, walking into a room and not remembering why you’re there, re-reading what you just read, losing things and/or forgetting people’s names, it’s time to give your gray matter the support it deserves. A healthy brain is essential for a successful life. Cognitive dysfunction negatively effects our relationships, our work and our play. Therefore, it is critical to make neurohealth an important part of personal care.
Dementia destroys lives.Alzheimer’s disease (AD) causes dementia. It is the most feared disease among Americans according to a poll conducted by the Marist Institute of Public Opinion. This is because the incapacitating nature of dementia destroys individuals’ lives along with the lives of those caring for them.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 13.8 million Americans are likely to suffer from AD by the year 2050. The Mayo Clinic highlights aging as the number one risk factor for developing AD and notes that more women than men fall victim to the disease, likely because they live longer.
While Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, it can also be caused by Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, HIV, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), vascular disease, and alcohol abuse just to name a few.
Where to find brain support?Support for cognitive function is often sought from prescription drugs, vitamins and minerals, plants and herbs or animal sources, like that of fish oil.
Pharmaceutical drugs are often prescribed.Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, FDA approved medications only offer symptom management and do not stop nor reverse cognitive decline caused by neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, side effects from the most commonly prescribed dementia pharmaceutical include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia and anorexia. Until there is a break-through this is the best that man has to offer.
Nature on the other hand, can offer support for brain cells to function better. Researchers have linked deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals (B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, etc.) to poor brain function. Replacing these deficient vitamins and minerals can help improve cognition as can fish oils.
Is fish brain food?The brain is believed to be 60% fat and research indicates that dietary fat can help it function well. The brain seems to benefit when this fat is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which is found in fish. While not touted for dementia prevention, Dr. Scott McGinnis, an assistant professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, notes how fish oils could be helpful. “There’s evidence [omega 3 fats] can have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well, which means they might promote healthier brain cells and less deterioration of the brain,” says Dr. McGinnis.
Plants and herbs also offer ways to nourish the brain. Mushrooms, for example, contain medicinal components called phytonutrients that can support healthy brain function.
Mushrooms have been used to promote health for centuries.Cordyceps, high in the element germanium, may be responsible for increased oxygen in the cells. Oxygen is essential to the function of metabolism whereby our cells produce energy. The brain is comprised of cells called neurons. These neurons are highly metabolic, which is why they are sensitive to hypoxia—a lack of oxygen, which can cause brain damage. Will your brain work better with greater amounts of oxygen in its neurons?
Cordyceps may also be a memory booster because they reduce free radicals and possibly protects neurons from oxidative damage. In a study published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, researchers also found Cordyceps inhibited neuronal death in the hippocampus of mice (the hippocampus is a brain structure essential to the function of learning and memory).
Lion’s mane mushrooms are another fungi varietal that hold some promise for boosting brain power. As reported in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, scientists found positive effects on memory when adding Lion’s Mane to the diets of mice. Other researchers discovered neuroprotective benefits from Lion’s Mane on hippocampal neurons in vivo. Their active ingredients (hericenones and erinacines) were also cited as encouraging to neuronal growth as compared to BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor)—a naturally occurring brain growth stimulant.
Choosing a Brain SupplementThese findings indicate why herbalists have a long history of using Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps.
When you are looking for a brain support supplement, consider the positive benefits from Lion’s mane and Cordyceps mushrooms. Their phytonutrients not only seem to nourish the brain but may also protect it.
The Herban Shaman Mushroom Brain Support is an American-made, vegan-friendly, organic blend that contains Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane mushrooms for the benefit of your brain and the quality of your life.
Aricept (n.d.) Label Insert. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/020690s035,021720s008,022568s005lbl.pdf
Alzheimer’s Association (n.d.) Facts and Figures. Retrieved from https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures#:~:text=By%202050%2C%20the%20number%20of,slow%20or%20cure%20Alzheimer's%20disease.
Dong, Y., Hu, S., Liu, C., Meng, Q., Song, J., Lu, J., et al. (2014, October 27). Purification of Polysaccharides from Cordyceps militaris and their Anti-hypoxic Effect. Molecular Medicine Reports. 11(2): 1312-1317.
Harvard Medical School (2019, May 3). Do Omega-3s Protect Your Thinking Skills? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-omega-3s-protect-your-thinking-skills
Kushairi, N., Phan, C., Sabaratnam, V., David, P. & Naidu, M. (2019, August 1). Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Suppresses H2O2-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia. Antioxidants. 8(8): 261.Lee, S., Ko, I., Kim, S., Hwang, L., Jing, J., Choi, H. & Kim, C. (2016, April 26). Aqueous Extract of Cordyceps Alleviates Cerebral Ischemia-induced Short-term Memory Impairment in Gerbils. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. 12(2): 69–78.
Marist Poll (2012, November 15). 11/14: Alzheimer’s Most Feared Disease. Retrieved from http://maristpoll.marist.edu/1114-alzheimers-most-feared-disease/#sthash.FMfXFPho.dpbs
Mayo Clinic (n.d.) Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20350447
Northwestern Medicine (n.d.) 10 Vitamins and Minerals That Boost Brain and Heart Health. Retrieved from https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/10-vitamins-and-minerals-that-boost-brain-and-heart-health-infographic
Rossi, P., Cesaroni, V., Brandalise, F., Occhinegro, A., Ratto, D., Perrucci, F., et al. (2018) Dietary Supplementation of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 20(5): 485-494.
Samberkar, S., Gandhi, S., Naidu, M., Wong, K., Raman, J. & Sabaratnam, V. (2015). Lion's Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 17(11): 1047-1054.
Yuan, G., An, L., Sun, Y., Xu, G. & Du, P. (2018, March 15). Improvement of Learning and Memory Induced by Cordyceps Polypeptide Treatment and the Underlying Mechanism. Evidence-Based Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Article ID 9419264
Lee, S., Ko, I., Kim, S., Hwang, L., Jing, J., Choi, H. & Kim, C. (2016, April 26). Aqueous Extract of Cordyceps Alleviates Cerebral Ischemia-induced Short-term Memory Impairment in Gerbils. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. 12(2): 69–78.