Are You Getting the Best Nutrients in Your Multi-vitamin?, Part 1
Vitamins and minerals are essential for our survival. Our foods provide the energy we need to power our brain and body. But to unlock this energy, we need the “essential nutrients” that power our enzyme systems. They should be coming from our foods, but ongoing population surveys clearly indicate the modern diet is not doing this job. BrainMD developed a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement to help close this dietary gap while additionally prioritizing the brain.
Based on large surveys of Americans’ dietary patterns, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consistently reports insufficient average intakes of various essential nutrients: the vitamins A, C, D, E, and choline; the minerals magnesium, iodine, and zinc; and omega-3 EPA+DHA. Nutritionists advise taking dietary supplements to ensure getting enough of these nutrients.
Since nothing else can work until these essential nutrients are fully supplied, the cornerstone of nutritional health insurance is a really good multiple. BrainMD’s NeuroVite Plus (NV, for short) supplies over 50 vitamins, essential minerals, conditionally essential nutrients, and plant concentrates, along with digestive enzymes to assist with their utilization. Let’s review how these work together for brain and body health.
Nutrients for Memory, Brain, Body, Genetics and Lifestyle
This formulation is unique among multiples by providing all these nutrients:
- Vitamins (14), including all 8 B vitamins with methylfolate. Absence of any of these leads to deficiency symptoms and increasingly worsening health
- Essential Minerals (8), all required by specific enzymes (except for iron and copper, due to safety issues)
- Conditionally essential nutrients (14), so named because some individuals can’t make sufficient amounts so must get them from their diet
- A proprietary brain-boosting blend of clinically researched nutrients (4)
- Other clinically researched substances from plants, known to promote health (3)
- Organically grown fruit and vegetable concentrates (8)
- Digestive enzymes from plants (5)
The ingredients in NeuroVite Plus are painstakingly selected for their superior absorption, utilization, lack of adverse effects when taken, and long-term safety. Their diverse array of nutrients was assembled to address individual requirements that vary greatly from person to person due to genetics, lifestyle, stress levels, medication regimens, age and other real-life factors.
Vitamin A is crucial for the brain to develop and maintain its trillions of nerve cell connections (synapses). It is also crucial for vision, intestinal function, lung function, and immune defenses. Unlike many multiples, this formulation provides authentic vitamin A rather than beta-carotene, which 1 in 2 people can’t efficiently convert into vitamin A. More than 2 in 10 Americans may not be getting sufficient vitamin A from their foods.
Vitamin C gives the body powerful antioxidant protection but is also needed for certain enzymes to work. It reaches very high levels in the brain, where it promotes acetylcholine, dopamine, and norepinephrine neurotransmitter activity. Vitamin C has crucial importance for the brain, and scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) features prominent mental deterioration.
Throughout the body, vitamin C is needed by enzymes that make collagen, for the connective tissues that hold the organs together. Vitamin C is also essential for healthy immunity and used by the liver to neutralize toxins. The CDC reports more than 4 in 10 adult Americans aren’t getting enough vitamin C from their foods.
Vitamin D deficiency is currently epidemic worldwide: CDC reports more than 9 in 10 Americans aren’t getting enough of it from their foods. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is converted into a hormone that regulates about 900 different genes. Vitamin D function involves regulating the brain and other organs. Vitamin D promotes the actions of serotonin, dopamine, and other key brain neurotransmitters.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, helping protect the membrane systems of all our cells. It especially protects the brain, which can sometimes have antioxidant deficits. NV provides vitamin E not only as the natural d-alpha tocopherol but as the full family of 8 tocopherol and tocotrienol vitamin Es naturally present in a healthy diet. More than 8 in 10 Americans likely aren’t getting enough E from their foods.
Vitamin K is highly underestimated for brain and body. NV provides Vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7), which is much more active than the vitamin K1 used in many multiples. Vitamin K2 activates brain proteins that not only help control calcium’s potential to do damage but also support brain cell maturation, survival, and electrical conduction.
Outside the brain, uncontrolled calcium can readily form stony deposits in the heart valves, large arteries, and elsewhere. Vitamin K2 proteins help direct calcium away from the brain, heart, blood vessels, and other soft tissues and towards the bone, teeth and nails that need it. Vitamin K2 also is essential for the coagulation processes required for healthy wound healing.
The B Vitamins are provided in their most active forms in NV. The brain has special transport systems to move B vitamins across the blood-brain barrier and deliver them to the brain cells. In a two-year double-blind trial at Oxford University, Douaud and colleagues found a B vitamin combination slowed brain decline in elderly people. All our cells need the 8 B vitamins, and they work best when administered together.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is essential for all the cells in our brain and other organs to process proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy. The body’s thiamin reserves are very low and are readily depleted by high-sugar diets, alcohol abuse, and various prescription drugs. Thiamin deficiency is common in pregnancy.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is essential for the body to process carbs, fats and amino acids coming from proteins, and especially for energy production by the mitochondria, our cells’ tiny powerhouses. Our cells also need riboflavin to repair damage to their DNA and to regulate their gene activity. This vitamin is also essential for an enzyme that helps conserve glutathione, the predominant antioxidant found inside human cells.
Vitamin B3 as Niacinamide is a fully active B3 without the uncomfortable skin flush linked to niacin B3. Our cells’ mitochondria need it to make NAD, a high-energy nutrient that works very closely with ATP in the body’s energy economy. NAD is also essential for enzymes that regulate gene actions. B3 is readily depleted by excessive alcohol intake and by smoking.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is needed not just for energy but for making amino acids, proteins and hormones, and converting fats into fatty acids used in building cell membranes. B5 deficiency is linked to loss of nerve cell electrical insulation, which can impair brain functions. Canning and refining deplete this vitamin from foods. Pregnant and lactating women tend to have low levels, another reason for them to take a really good multiple.
Vitamin B6, equally well utilized as both pyridoxine and pyridoxal-5-phosphate, is vital for the major brain transmitters serotonin, noradrenaline, adrenaline, and GABA. B6 is required by about 100 enzymes that help the body utilize amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. This vitamin helps with the conversion of homocysteine, a potential toxin, into useful antioxidants. Good B6 levels promote mother and child health during lactation.
Methylfolate provides methyl chemical groups, fundamental to practically all our processes. In comparing folate vs folic acid it’s crucial to understand that folate is the vitamin we need whereas folic acid is a man-made chemical that interferes with our utilization of folate. Most multiples provide just folic acid; NV’s methylfolate is efficiently absorbed and goes right to work without the need for conversion.
Methylfolate is immensely important to the brain, including for the serotonin and dopamine transmitter systems. In clinical studies at Harvard and elsewhere, supplementation with methylfolate consistently improved mood. Also, up to 1 in 4 people have mutant genes (MTHFR C677T and sometimes others) that severely limit their capacity to utilize folic acid or even the folates from their foods. Taking methylfolate bypasses these mutations.
All our cells need methylfolate to make their DNA, package it into genes, repair it when damage occurs, and to regulate their overall gene activity (called epigenetics). The brain’s nerve cell also need it to make their electrical insulation (myelin), to make the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters, even to make the sleep hormone melatonin. Methylfolate also works with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (see below) in the detoxication of homocysteine.
Vitamin B12 is active mostly in its methyl form, and backs up methylfolate. Yet many multiples have B12 in a cyanide form (cyano-cobalamin). Cyanide is extremely toxic for everyone, and should not be in a dietary supplement. BrainMD provides vitamin B12 as methyl-B12, in amount sufficient to be effective when taken by mouth, as has been done in Sweden for decades.
Plants don’t make vitamin B12, so vegetarians and vegans often have very low levels. Also, B12 absorption can be impaired by various over-the-counter and pharmaceutical medications, and declines with advancing age. NV’s ample allowance of methyl B12 will be helpful to many of the individuals facing such challenges.
Biotin is another B vitamin, required by at least 3 key enzymes that help the mitochondria generate life energy. Biotin is also vital for healthy gene regulation, and for cell to cell communication. Though called the “Hair, Skin and Nails Vitamin,” biotin is vital for the brain and all the organs. Deficiency is increasingly common. Alcohol intake can deplete this vitamin, as can intestinal absorption problems and anticonvulsant drugs.
Next time, we’ll take a closer look at the essential minerals contained in NeuroVite Plus, and how they can help optimize your brain and body.
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