As we age, our brain function naturally declines. The volume of our brains naturally declines about 5% each decade after 40 years. After age 70, studies show that rate can speed up even further. Both the brain’s gray matter and white matter are affected by aging and shrink a little year after year. So why should we care? Size isn’t the only change in the brain over time. Aging also causes a drop in cognitive function. The good news is that you can take preventative measures to slow down the decline of brain tissue. While a healthy diet, regular exercise and low alcohol intake are significant, another thing you can do is take daily neuroprotective supplements. Here are four you can add to your morning vitamin routine to ensure your brain is in peak health for years to come.
1. Krill oil or fish oil
Harvard Health backs krill oil as a supplement that plays a role in preserving brain function and preventing inflammation. Krill oil and fish oil supplements essentially do the same thing. They supply your body with a dose of Omega 3 fatty acid, which have strong neuroprotective benefits. Studies suggest krill oil may be better absorbed by the body, so that might be the one to try for brain health. Krill oil also contains more antioxidants than fish oil. Antioxidants prevent damage done to cells by free radicals in the body.
2. Co-enzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a compound made by your body and stored in your mitochondria. As you age, your body produces less of it. Studies suggest it can protect brain cells from oxidative damage that occurs with aging, and can help reduce some of the factors that lead to brain disease. But, as you age, your body produces less of it. As a result, it’s beneficial to supplement with CoQ10 pills in middle-aged to older adults. As with any supplement, it’s not a miracle ingredient. But the research suggests it’s worthwhile to add to your vitamin routine.
Luteolin is a less common neuroprotective supplement compared to krill oil and CoQ10. It’s a powerful compound known to reduce brain fog by crossing the blood-brain barrier and stabilizing brain cells. Luteolin is also anti-inflammatory and is known to protect the brain over time and keep cognitive function stable.
This neuroprotective supplement works in a couple different ways. One is that it has antioxidant properties, meaning it protects the brain from oxidative damage. Also, it is anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatories are important in protecting against damage to brain tissue. Studies show that resveratrol appears to reduce the risk of age-related neurological disorders including macular degeneration, stroke, and cognitive deficits. Fun fact: resveratrol is a key ingredient responsible for the health benefits of red wine!
Where to find them:
Here are links to each kind of supplement so you can get started.