Natural Mind and Memory Boosters

How it works: Precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; part of the structure of neuronal membranes.

Positive effects: More alert, clear-headed, better memory and concentration; improved brain development during gestation (pregnancy).

Cautions: None.

Dosage: 5-10 g (approximately 1 tablespoon) of lecithin, or 2.5-5 g (a heaping tablespoon) of hi-phosphatidylcholine lecithin, or 1-2 g of phosphatidyl choline, or 500 mg-2 g of choline chloride (fishy smelling); and 500-1,000 mg of citicholine and 500-1,500 mg of alpha-GPC. Take daily.

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol): Let's Concentrate
DMAE, like choline, is plentiful in sardines and anchovies, but it crosses the blood-brain barrier and gets into the brain cells more rapidly. Once there, DMAE is a great natural mind and memory booster. DMAE accelerates the production of acetylcholine, reduces anxiety and racing minds, improves concentration and learning, and acts as a mild brain stimulant.

The ability of DMAE to tune up your brain was well demonstrated in a German study from 1996 with a group of adults with cognitive problems. The participants had their brain waves measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG) and were then given either DMAE or a placebo. There were no EEG changes measured in those taking the placebo, but those taking DMAE showed EEG improvements in brain-wave patterns in parts of the brain that play an important role in memory, attention, and flexibility of thinking.

A variation of DMAE is marketed as the drugs Deaner and Deanol. Numerous studies have shown that these drugs help people with learning problems, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and memory and behavioral problems. In one survey by Dr. Bernard Rimland from the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, Deaner was found to be almost twice as effective in treating children with ADD than the widely used drug Ritalin, without the side effects.

After thoroughly investigating the actions of DMAE, researcher and psychiatrist Charles Gant discovered that, in addition to increasing acetylcholine, DMAE in higher doses can actually block the acetylcholine receptor. This allows more dopamine to be released, thereby stimulating the brain as well. This action explains DMAE's success with reward deficiency syndrome and ADD.

If you want to boost your memory, the ideal dose of DMAE is 100-300 mg daily, taken in the morning or midday, not in the evening. Don't expect immediate results: DMAE can take two to three weeks to work. But it's worth waiting for.

Here's what three people shared about their experiences:

I've been taking DMAE for several weeks, and I've noticed an amazing difference in mood and concentration level.
AFB, Austin, Texas

I am currently taking 100 mg of DMAE per day and notice a real difference in my alertness, energy level, and decreased need for sleep.
RS, Seattle, Washington

I've been using DMAE with pantothenic acid and a good multivitamin for two months now. One of the first things I noticed was that I fall asleep faster and wake up with a clearer mind. I experience a much sounder, more restful sleep. I constantly feel more attuned to my creative potential, and I'm always in a good mood. I truly feel alive and awake.
PW, New York, New York

How it works: Precursor for choline that crosses readily into the brain, thereby helping to make acetylcholine. May also enhance dopamine activity.

Positive effects: Increases alertness; improves concentration; reduces anxiety; improves learning and attention span; normalizes brain-wave patterns.

Cautions: Too much can overstimulate and is therefore not recommended for those diagnosed with schizophrenia, mania, or epilepsy. Lower the dosage if you experience insomnia.

Dosage: 100-300 mg daily, taken in the morning or midday, not in the evening.

Pyroglutamate, Phosphatidylserine, And Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Get Receptive
The ability of neurotransmitters to deliver their message depends on having fully functioning receptor sites. These receptor sites need two key nutrients – phosphatidylserine (PS) and the omega-3 fat DHA. The amino acid pyroglutamate also has been found to vastly improve the brain's ability to receive messages, which in turn promotes learning and memory by increasing the number of acetylcholine receptor sites and improving their reception.

Pyroglutamate: The Master of Communication

Highly concentrated in the brain and spinal fluid, pyroglutamate is a key amino acid for enhancing memory and mental function. So powerful are its effects that many variations are now being marketed as nootropic drugs for learning and memory-related problems such as Alzheimer's disease. Numerous studies using these drugs, such as piracetam, have proven that they enhance memory and mental function, not only in people with pronounced memory decline but also in those with so-called "normal" memory function.

Pyroglutamate does the following three things that help improve memory and mental alertness:

  • Increases acetylcholine production.
  • Boosts the number of receptors for acetylcholine.
  • Improves communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
In other words, pyroglutamate improves the brain's internal talking, listening, and cooperation. This is likely how it improves learning, memory, concentration, and the speed of reflexes. It can really give you an extra mental edge.

Pyroglutamate is found in many foods, including fish, dairy products, fruit, and vegetables. Arginine pyroglutamate is one of its more common forms used in brain-boosting supplements.

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From NATURAL HIGHS: Supplements, Nutrition, and Mind/Body Techniques to Help You Feel Good by Hyla Cass and Patrick Holford. Copyright Hyla Cass, M.D., and Patrick Holford. Used by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit www.penguin.com. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.


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