Antioxidants such as vitamin A and beta carotenes are important vitamins for memory. Antioxidants prevent some of the damage to cells in the body (and brain cells) from free radicals. As described in this article, antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may have improved health effects compared to antioxidants consumed through supplements.
Another study, which is discussed below, suggests that not all natural sources of antioxidants have similar effects on our health. The researchers tried to answer the question ‘how do the antioxidants from different fruits perform in our body?’ Antioxidants from a kiwi turn out to have far more effects on our health than antioxidants from a plum, for example. (more…)
It’s an old joke: carrots are good for your eyes? Why? Well, have you ever seen a rabbit with glasses?
There is actually some truth in this, because carrots are a source of beta carotenes, a Vitamin A which has been found to play a role in vision. Carotenes are also involved in other body functions, such as gene transcription, immune function, embryonic development and reproduction, bone metabolism, skin and cellular health and antioxidant activity.
Since beta-carotene plays an important role in cellular health and belongs to the category of antioxidants, molecules that prevent some of the damage from free radicals, the effects of beta carotenes on the brain have been studied. Would these beta carotenes also protect brain cells from free radicals (unstable molecules)? And are beta-carotenes vitamins for memory? (more…)
Articles on vitamins C and E (popular memory supplements) usually result in an epic war story. Main characters are the antioxidants and the free radicals. Battle field: the human body.
In these Hollywood-like tales, the free radicals are the main enemies of the human body. It is never clear where exactly they come from, but they are out there. Somehow they ninja themselves into our bodies and start beating the living daylights out of the neurons in our brain.
Luckily the body is assisted by an army of Silverster Stallones and Steven Seagals. The cell bodyguards fight the free radicals under the code name ‘antioxidants’.
It’s a frightening clash, and it’s based on a true story. But what are the facts and what is dramatized for Hollywood? And where do these free radicals come from? And do the antioxidants need help from memory supplements?
Let’s first analyze ‘the enemy’. Free radicals are natural by-products of oxidation, the body’s burning of fuel to produce energy. Free radicals are not just ‘bad’, they are also generated and used by our immune cells in carrying out their tasks to maintain a healthy body. There is evidence though that free radical damage within cells is involved in degenerative diseases and cancers.
Here is where the antioxidants, for example from memory supplements, come in. The antioxidants make sure that fuel is burned in such a way that no or very little radicals are ‘set free’ to damage cells; the antioxidants protect the cells while the engine is burning.
Memory supplements protect cells
There are processes that increase the production of free radicals, so-called oxidative stress. When there is too much oxidative stress, and not enough antioxidant intake, the protection of the cells in our body is lowered. A few examples of factors that increase oxidative stress are smoking, alcohol, drugs, and environmental pollution.
Since it is hard to avoid all these factors that increase oxidative stress, our body needs antioxidants, like vitamin C and E. These vitamins for memory can be found in foods such as blueberries, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, green tea, nuts, seeds, and citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. And in memory supplements.
Memory supplements containing vitamins C and E delay cognitive decline
For a lot of people these days, the fruits and vegetables that have high vitamin C and E are not part of their diet. One long-term health study (reported in the journal Neurology) has shown that vitamin E and vitamin C supplements have a protective effect against memory problems and loss of mental alertness. Another study, known as the Cache County study, concluded that the intake from food and memory supplements with vitamin C, vitamin E and carotene may delay cognitive decline in elderly.
Although the results of these studies are appealing, there are other studies that find very little - or no - effect for memory supplements with vitamin C and vitamin E on memory. One study found that people with diabetes or vascular diseases should be careful taking these type of memory supplements and these people particularly are advised to consult a doctor before taking a vitamin C or vitamin E supplement.
As with other memory supplements, vitamin C and vitamin E (and also beta carotene) can be beneficial and assist your body to stay healthy. The best way is to make sure you get enough of these vitamins for memory from your diet, so Silvester and Steven have enough help to battle those free radicals.