If a vitamin has important functions in the brain for learning and memory in the brains of growing / developing and adult animals, why wouldn’t it be important for brain health?
That’s what researchers are wondering now.
A few decades ago, many health experts never predicted that vitamin D could be so important for our health. Now, we know that vitamin D deficiency is related to high blood pressure, depression, multiple sclerosis, depressed immunity, diabetes, and many other disorders.
Recommendations for the vitamin have increased to 2000 to 4000 IU to the public by many alternative healthcare practitioners although the medical profession and the government haven’t budged their recommendations yet from 400 IU per day. However, not that the RDA has been raised to 600 IU for those 1-70 years old and 800 IU for those over 70 years old.
Worldwide research on vitamin A has found it to be extremely important for survival of the neurons in animals no matter what age they are. It’s also important for something called synaptic plasticity, the ability of the nerve synapse to change to demands put on it. For example, if you start praising your son or daughter more, the neurons grow that allow you to praise your child while the ones associated with saying negative things to your child wither away.
Researchers have found that dietary vitamin A supplementation can stop declines in cognitive functioning that occur during the aging process. And because of this, it should be included in supplements for brain health. The form of vitamin A that has these functions is retinoic acid.
In mouse studies in Richmond, Virginia at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, abdominal injections of vitamin A three times a week for 8 weeks decreased the deposition of the beta amyloid plaques in the brains of the mice. It also improved the ability of the mice to learn spatial information and increased their memory. The researchers are thinking that vitamin A could be an effective brain health supplement to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Other supplements for brain health include vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B12, SaME, N-acetyl-cysteine, ginkgo biloba, alpha-lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10.