Our brain does so much for us, yet sometimes we do not give it a second thought. It makes up a small percentage of our overall body weight, yet it uses a large amount of energy. In order to function at an optimal level, it needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
Our cognitive function is directly related to the vitamins in which our brain has access to. They play such a vital role, so it’s crucial that you are getting all the vitamins you need.
Which Vitamins Does Your Brain Need?
It’s no secret that a nutrient-rich diet will improve brain function. There is a direct correlation with the foods and supplements we consume, and our cognitive ability.
These are perhaps one of the most essential group of vitamins regarding your diet and supplementation. Since these vitamins are not stored in the body, they need to be supplied on a daily basis. You can get all the essential B-vitamins through the foods you eat and the supplements you take. This group of vitamins consist of
- B1, also known as thiamine
- B2, also known as riboflavin
- B3, also known as niacin
- B5, also known as pantothenic acid
- B6, also known as pyridoxine
- B7, also known as biotin
- B9, also known as folate
- B12, also known as cobalamin
This group of vitamins is crucial when forming cells within our body, especially in terms of our heart, liver, and nerve cells. These B-vitamins are in many foods, yet a large portion of the population in deficient. This is commonly seen in people on weight-loss diets, those who are under large amounts of stress, and those that eat a diet high in refined sugars, caffeine, and processed foods.
These vitamins are not only great for cognitive functioning, but also for treating anxiety and depression. The most important are B1, B3, B6, and B12. The following displays the benefits of each vitamin:
- B1 or thiamine: Taking 500 to 3000 mg daily, has been shown to reduce irritability and mental confusion in healthy people. Within Alzheimer’s research, thiamine has been shown to improve memory loss. It is sited in depression, anxiety, and insomnia research, and is also known to boost brain energy.
- B3 or niacin: Taking 500 to 3000 mg daily, can help improve the effects of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. A B3 deficiency is also linked to mental confusion, headaches, issues with attention, irritability, and dementia.
- B6 or pyridoxine: Taking 100 to 1000 mg daily, is effective for a variety of disorders (anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, and dementia.
- B12 or cobalamin: Taking 1000 to 3000 mg daily, is known to aid in a variety of neurological problems. The highest benefits are seen with chronic fatigue, depression, memory less, and neuropathy.
Taking vitamin C, is essential for brain health. It is known as one of the best antioxidants to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules, which cause damage to brain cells. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are two diseases that are linked to an excessive presence of free radicals.
Vitamin C helps to combat these free radicals, and removes toxins from the brain. This allows our brain to stay healthy as we age. We need to protect our aging mind through the choices we make. Vitamin supplements are such an easy and beneficial addition to your daily intake.
Choline is generally grouped with the B-complex vitamins. Choline supplements are very common regarding nootropics, as they work well in a stack. It is found in a number of foods, such as chicken, eggs, beef, and peanuts. Many individuals are now taking choline supplements, especially when they’re taking nootropics.
Choline is essential for the production of acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter plays a large role in cognition, sleep, and memory. Many nootropics work by increasing levels of acetylcholine. This is especially seen with the racetams group, which includes nootropics like Piracetam and Aniracetam.
Which Choline Vitamin Should You Choose?
Since choline is such a vital component of cognitive functioning, let’s examine which options are available. Which are best and how do they differ?
This will be your cheapest options, yet it’s still highly effective. This supplement is choline combined with a chemical salt, which aids in absorption. Once ingested, it enters the blood stream where it makes its way to the blood-brain barrier. However, not all the choline bitartrate makes it to your brain. This makes it less effective than choline supplements like Alpha GPC and Centrophenoxine.
Vegetarians are often deficient in choline due to the lack of meat consumption. This supplement is popular amongst the vegetarian population because it is a great source of choline. This supplement comes from soybeans, as it is a source of phosphatidylcholine.
Before choline is turned into acetylcholine, it needs to be turned into phosphatidylcholine. In comparison to other supplements, soy lecithin is not absorbed as effectively. If you take a larger dose, you will likely urinate most of it out.
This is a more potent option, which provides nootropic benefits on its own. It supplies the brain with choline, which aids in acetylcholine production. It has great absorption and reaches the brain quickly. Once it crosses the blood-brain barrier, it boosts levels of acetylcholine. This improves memory and thought processing.
Not only does Citicoline improve acetylcholine production, it also has an affect on dopamine receptors. Dopamine is responsible for mood, as well as focus. It is also known to boost memory and increase brain energy.
This is one of the most popular choline supplements because it so effective. Alpha GPC is approximately the same potency as Citicoline, making it a personal preference for users. Once it crosses the blood-brain barrier, it is directly broken down into acetylcholine.
This supplement has improved both memory and cognition in people with Alzheimer’s, as well as healthy individuals. You will pay a little more for this supplement, but it is one of the most effective when used in a stack with nootropics such as Piracetam.