The other day, one of my elderly patients said something curious: “Dr. Sears, my brain must be getting smaller – I just can’t remember things like I used to.” You should have seen the look on her face when I told her that she was right. Your brain actually does shrink as you get older!
The shrinking starts in adulthood and continues at an average rate of two percent per decade. That doesn’t sound like much – but by the time you’re 80, your brain will be 12 percent smaller than it was at 20. As you might imagine, that can cause all sorts of problems, including memory loss. But there are two supplements that can help you maintain your mental edge – even as you get older.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) is an exceptional brain supplement. ALC provides a range of brain protection, improving mood and memory. It protects the brain from damage due to poor circulation and helps repair injured nerve cells so they can function normally again. ALC also increases the release of the memory neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Researchers have found that ALC protects brain cells from damage even when blood flow is temporarily blocked. And it keeps the cell energy going even when there is little or no blood flow for short amounts of time.
Vitamin B12 is another brain booster that plays a role in creating and maintaining the protective coating (myelin) around neurons. Not only does myelin protect the neurons, it also helps conduct messages to the brain. As vitamin B-12 levels drop, myelin’s effectiveness plummets. B-12 also lowers levels of homocysteine in the body. (Homocysteine is a toxic byproduct that destroys neurons and contributes to mental disorders. It is often seen in people with B-12 deficiencies.)
Both of these supplements are easy to take and available at your local nutrition store or on the Internet. I recommend taking 250 mg of ALC and 500 mcg of vitamin B-12 daily.
[Ed. Note: Dr. Sears, a practicing physician, is a leading authority on longevity, physical fitness, and heart health. Learn more of his anti-aging secrets here.]