As we age, how can we prevent or support dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other age-related brain diseases? Looking at the scientific research, much emphasis is on curing neurological disease after it is well-established. Reacting to a crisis is logical, though, after many years of research and money spent, there is still no cure. However, preventing a crisis is even better. Why wait for possible brain deterioration to affect your quality-of-life?
At Natural Eye Care, we have been helping aging adults both prevent and support age-related neurological diseases for 19+ years. The retina in the eye is neural tissue. Therefore, Macular Degeneration and certain other eye diseases are closely linked to the health of the brain. Many of the nutrients researched for supporting the retina and optic nerve can pass the blood-brain barrier. They are essential for maintaining healthy neurological function.
Up to the mid-1990s, scientists believed that the neurons we were born with were the only ones we would have for a lifetime. However, science has since shown that every day, a person makes new neurons. This is called neurogenesis. Some examples of nutrients that promote neurogenesis include: acetyl-l-carnitine, ashwagandha, astaxanthin, curcumin, omega-3 fatty acid, gingko biloba, ginseng, green tear, sage, resveratrol, taurine, and vitamins A and E to name few.
Doctors are learning how to screen for neurological disease simply by examining the retina. The cardiovascular system, the brain, and the eyes are intertwined. When one system breaks down, the other systems can be dragged down with them. For example, scientists are questioning whether glaucoma could be a neurological disease.1 Restricted blood flow damages the brain – for example, hardening of the arteries leads to stroke. Insufficient blood flow damages the eyes, as seen in diabetic retinopathy and retinal artery occlusion.
A Vast Array of Brain-Supporting Supplements
Taking care of your brain is crucial to maintaining independence in the senior years. Research has revealed a vast array of molecules that support the brain.
Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac. and Dr. Marc Grossman at Natural Eye Care have reviewed the research into natural brain support. As a holistic optometrist, Dr. Grossman has worked with thousands of seniors with both vision and neurological diagnoses. Based on this experience, they created Brain Support Packages. They identified two specific formulas to help keep the brain healthy and reduce the risk of dementia. They also hand-picked two additional neurological supplement combinations. These packages are called “Dr. Grossman’s Brain and Memory Support Package 1” and “Package 2,” which has one additional supplement. These packages are also recommended for those who have some form of dementia.
Ingredients on packages appear in order of amount. The predominant ingredient is first. Individual ingredients may have a synergistic effect taken together. Here is some of the research on the #1 ingredient in each formulation, followed by highlights of other ingredients.
First ingredient: Cordyceps mycelium (Cordyceps militaris). A type of mushroom, Cordyceps militaris is a treasure trove of bio-metabolites. C. militaris appears to improve immunity by stimulating cells and certain chemicals. An important ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this mycelium also appears to protect the liver, reduce tumors, reduce oxidization, help control blood sugar, decrease cell mutation, and affect cholesterol levels.2
MycoBotanicals Brain is a certified organic formula that also contains:
Reishi has bio-available alkaloids and triterpenes which support eye, nerve, and liver rejuvenation while providing immune system support.
Cordyceps improves stamina, healthy oxygen utilization, and improved vigor according to available clinical trials.
Oceans 3™ Better Brain 90 gels
First Ingredient: Ultra pure, high potency fish oil from anchovies and sardines. You need to consume Omega-3 fatty acids in proportion to Omega-6 fatty acids. Otherwise, heart disease is more likely. Omega-6s come from red meat. Omega-3s come from fish. The fish richest in omega-3 fatty acids is anchovies. Sardines also have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, plus low mercury levels. These oils are purified to provide omega-3s without contamination.
This gluten-free Oceans 3™ Better Brain Formula contains a range of antioxidants that are essential for maintaining brain and overall health. Ingredients include Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, EPA, and astaxanthin. Studies have demonstrated that astaxanthin is a major contributor to the prevention of dementia.
Dr. Grossman’s Advanced Eye and Vision Support Formula
First Ingredient: Organic Prickly Pear (leaf-like stem, “cladode”) (Opuntiaficus-indica). This cactus plant is native to the Americas. Prickly pear appears on the Mexican flag. This hearty plant has proliferated world-wide. Prickly pear is a food, and it can also be manufactured into a supplement. Its high concentration of phytochemicals and flavonoids are used for blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Designed around current research on nutrition and eye disease, the Advanced Eye and Vision Support Formula contains a range of highly effective antioxidants to assist with the body’s natural detoxification processes. A 2016 study concluded that essential nutrients, such as key ingredients lutein and zeaxanthin, support the brain’s cognitive functioning capacity through maintaining the efficiency of neural networks. Other elements promote clear vision and healthy eyes, including macula, retina, and lens.
Dr. Grossman’s RX-Anti-Aging Formula
First Ingredient: Catalase, an enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide to water. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a by-product of metabolic processes, but it causes cell damage. The body must quickly convert H2O2 to less harmful chemicals. Found in most living creatures, catalase is a catalyst that turns 2 H2O2 -> 2 H2O + O2 (water and oxygen). The action of catalase is robust: one molecule can neutralize millions of hydrogen peroxide molecules.
The formula has Saw Palmetto, which contains antioxidants to prevent damage to cells, decrease inflammation, and protect against chronic disease. Also, the formula contains Lipoic Acid, D-Ribose, Phosphatidylserine, Rhodiola, Transresveratrol, Horse Tail, Quercetin, PABA, Nettle Root, Fisetin, CoQ10, Barley Grass, PQQ, Fo Ti, and Biotin.
Brain and Memory Support Package 2
With the success of the original Brain and Memory Support Package 1, Dr. Grossman created a second package. Brain and Memory Support Package 2 has the same supplements as Package 1, plus one additional supplement:
Cognirev Extra Strength Intraoral Formula
First ingredient: Ashwagandha root is called an “adaptogen.” Extracts from the plant help the body manage stress. It may also lower blood sugar, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and address symptoms of depression and anxiety. Originating from India’s Ayurvedic tradition, Ashwagandha may improve brain function, memory, task performance, and reaction time.3
Cognirev Extra Strength Intraoral Formula is a pleasant-tasting, fast-acting oral spray. This supplement contains a broad spectrum of nutrients for memory and brain support.
Both Dr. Grossman’s Brain and Memory Support Packages are priced at 10% off purchasing the products separately. Dr. Grossman personally selected these products for their effectiveness in supporting memory and brain health as well as nerve support.
Food Sources of Brain Boosters
Some of the most important brain foods include avocado, broccoli, berries such as blueberries, moderate amounts of coffee, eggs, dark chocolate, garlic, goji berries, kale and other green, leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, pomegranate juice, and walnuts.
Some of the foods that promote neurogenesis include fish, bilberries, goji berries, reishi mushrooms, and green, leafy vegetables.
Regular exercise is essential for brain health and promoting neurogenesis.
New Brain Book is On the Way
Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac. co-founder and President of Natural Eye Care is expected to have his new book out in Fall 2019 called Natural Brain Care. This book will go into great detail in natural ways to keep the brain healthy. It will identify nutrients that help break down amyloid beta plaques and neurofibrillary fibers found to result in Alzheimer’s Disease. The book will be approximately 380 pages with over 1500 peer-reviewed research studies. Sign up for our email list to get an announcement when it comes out.
Parkinson’s Disease E-book
Our 75 page e-book on Parkinson’s disease with information on the condition, new research, risk factors and nutritional, dietary, and behavioral support will be available shortly. It will include detailed information on how different nutrients, foods, herbs, and behaviors influence Parkinson’s risk and onset.
- Surv Ophthalmol. 2018 May – Jun;63(3):296-306. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2017.09.010. Epub 2017 Oct 3. Glaucoma and the brain: Trans-synaptic degeneration, structural change, and implications for neuroprotection. Lawlor M et al. ↩
- S. ZHONG et al.: Polysaccharides of Cordyceps Species, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 47 (3) 304–312 (2009) ↩
- Pharmacognosy Res. 2014 Jan;6(1):12-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.122912. Effect of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera on tests of cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy human participants. Pingali U. et al. ↩