Too many people don’t obtain the full spectrum of important nutrients to safeguard their brain health. Whether we are struggling to concentrate at work, or feel overwhelmed with stress that results in low mood, nutrition can have a huge impact on the way our brain functions and how we feel. Protecting our delicate brain against the deterioration of ageing is also paramount if we want to stay ‘switched on’ well into old age.
Here at Igennus we have formulated four new targeted supplements that provide comprehensive nutrition for different areas of brain health. MindCare supplements provide intensive support for adults who are anxious and stressed, under high pressure for mental performance, afflicted by low mood, or middle-aged and older adults wanting to keep their minds young.
Providing optimum nutrition that is targeted for specific areas of brain function means that we can support precise areas of brain health and mood for adults with different lifestyles at all stages of life – whether you have a desire to feel more relaxed or to concentrate properly and stay alert. Each supplement provides a blend of the most important fatty acids and micronutrients including antioxidants, B vitamins, zinc, vitamin D and a number of additional ingredients such as taurine. There is a suitable MindCare supplement for your personal preferences or needs, depending on how you currently feel, and what state of mind you are aiming to achieve:
- MindCare BALANCE – Stay relaxed – for those who are under stress and feel anxious
- MindCare FOCUS – Stay alert – for those who need to maximise their mental performance
- MindCare LIFT – Stay happy – for those feeling a bit low or overwhelmed by situations
- MindCare PROTECT – Stay sharp – anyone feeling a bit ‘foggy’ and adults aged 40+ to keep the mind in tip-top condition
Essential brain nutrients in every MindCare supplement
To keep your brain functioning at its best, whatever your mood, there are a few vital nutrients to include in your diet each day. Each MindCare formula includes these foundational ingredients to provide a strong base for good daily nutrition – without these, certain aspects of brain function may struggle. Supplying the brain with these essential nutrients to function properly means that the additional tailored actives such as L-theanine and resveratrol will have the best chance to work and enhance different aspects of mental function – so you don’t just feel okay – your mind should feel clear, sharp and calm.
Omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids support brain structure and function
Probably the most important nutrients to supplement when considering brain health, and commonly deficient in our diets, omega-3 fatty acids are required for both the structure and function of your brain. The brain is predominantly made up of fat, with brain cell membranes structurally depending on omega-3s EPA and DHA to keep cells plumped up and elastic. Fluid and elastic cell membranes rich in omega-3s EPA and DHA allow cells to be responsive to brain chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, giving us the ability to feel relaxed, happy and focused, with improved sleep quality, thereby stabilising emotions. Insufficient omega-3 fatty acids may result in stiff, less responsive cells, making communication in the brain significantly more difficult, leading to a distressed and confused mind. Low blood levels of omega-3s EPA and DHA are therefore, not surprisingly, associated with depression and anxiety. (1) Supplementing with omega-3s EPA and DHA has shown very positive results in reducing anxiety symptoms. (2)
Antioxidants protect the brain against oxidation
As we age, our brain cells require antioxidant protection against oxidative stress, which is high in today’s non-stop living – especially when considering the added load of environmental toxins from pollution and pesticides. Antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby reducing DNA damage, and protecting against decline in cognition. (3)
When feeling stressed, oxidation tends to be increased in the body, resulting in extra nutritional demands for organs such as the adrenal glands. Stress increases our need for high doses of vitamin C to support the adrenal glands in hormone production, for example. As vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium are able to recycle each other in the body, they have a much stronger antioxidant effect when taken together, so we have brought these antioxidants together in all four MindCare products for maximum antioxidant protection.
B vitamins and zinc support brain chemical messengers
B vitamins are required in the body for numerous functions, including the use of enzymes to support essential processes. The body’s stress response also depends on B vitamin supply, which as a result helps to protect against DNA damage, giving protection to our brains as we age. Requirements for B vitamins are elevated during times of stress.
Most importantly, B vitamins are required in the production of neurotransmitters, which can determine how we feel. Zinc works alongside vitamin B6, in particular, to support production of neurotransmitters such as melatonin help to regulate our sleep patterns, and serotonin and dopamine to impact our mood and ability to focus and retain information. Studies have shown that supplementing with B vitamins significantly lowers personal strain and dejected mood, reducing workplace stress. (4)
Vitamin D to prevent deficiency & support mental function
A deficiency in vitamin D is very common, especially here in the UK where, between the months of October to March, vitamin D cannot be synthesised from sunlight. Sunlight is our main source of vitamin D, with small amounts found in fish and eggs.
Vitamin D is required for normal brain development and function, and a deficiency is associated with cognitive impairment, depression, and Alzheimer’s risk. (5) As vitamin D plays a direct role in mood, supplementation may be beneficial for anyone suffering with anxiety or depression. The positive effects of vitamin D supplementation for depression are seen particularly in those who are deficient in vitamin D prior to supplementing. (6)
MindCare BALANCE – Stay relaxed
To support your brain when feeling stressed, reducing anxiety and calming your mind, giving you time to relax and feel balanced.
If you feel overwhelmed, stressed and perhaps overworked, your brain may be working in overdrive. With such high demands and stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol flooding the body, your nutritional needs are increased, particularly for B vitamins and antioxidants. Omega-3s EPA and DHA will support function of the neurotransmitters dopamine, GABA and melatonin, required for feelings of relaxation, a calm state of mind and good quality sleep. The antioxidants, along with an extra high dose of vitamins B1 and B5 provided in MindCare BALANCE, will help to support the adrenal glands to produce hormones and enable the body to deal with stress, helping to calm and reduce feelings of anxiety.
The addition of magnesium in MindCare BALANCE works well in combination with vitamin B6 and zinc to provide enzymes with the nutrients required to synthesise neurotransmitters such as dopamine, promoting relaxation and good quality sleep; it is therefore very beneficial for anyone experiencing anxiety. Vitamin B6 combined with magnesium has been shown to reduce anxiety-related PMS symptoms. (7)
An amino acid, naturally found in green tea, L-Theanine, is a potent and natural calming active ingredient in MindCare BALANCE, shown to reduce physical and mental stress. (8) L-theanine acts as a relaxant by interacting with the neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), which specifically helps to reduce anxiety and promote sleep.
MindCare FOCUS – Stay alert
To keep your brain switched on, giving you the ability to focus and concentrate, improving work performance.
If you find it hard to focus and concentrate on a task, if you find learning difficult or if your work productivity is suffering, MindCare FOCUS may help you to stay alert and improve your productivity. Omega-3s EPA and DHA support blood flow to the brain by increasing delivery of oxygen and energy to cells helping to keep you alert, and also improve neurotransmitter function, increasing attentiveness, concentration and your ability to learn. Alongside the antioxidants, B vitamins and vitamin D, this formulation also provides an extra high dose of zinc at 20 mg per day, ensuring optimal brain cell communication by supporting dopamine production, keeping you focused without distraction.
L-Theanine is included in MindCare FOCUS for its ability to support feelings of calm by reducing both physical and mental stress. (8) As difficulty in concentrating often correlates with stress, this ingredient is particularly useful to clear the mind and reduce anxiety, allowing you to focus on work without other worries or distractions.
Taurine is a great addition to MindCare FOCUS for improving the ability to learn; it is therefore useful if you usually find it difficult to retain information. Taurine activates production of the neurotransmitter GABA (9), improving function of receptors in the brain, thus increasing ability to improve memory.
If your brain feels sluggish and concentration is intermittent, caffeine is particularly useful as a stimulant. Caffeine increases energy delivered to the brain and improves alertness and concentration. (10) Caffeine with L-Theanine in MindCare FOCUS is the perfect combination to help your brain to switch on, whilst improving your ability to ignore distractions. (11)
Acetyl-L-carnitine provides a direct energy source by transporting fatty acids into cells, keeping the brain focused. Acetyl-L-carnitine also increases production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, and improves attentiveness by increasing efficiency of the receptors in the brain that receive these messages.
MindCare LIFT – Stay happy
To lift your mood when you are feeling down, banishing those feelings of hopelessness and despair, allowing you to enjoy life.
If you generally feel ‘under the weather’ you may benefit from MindCare LIFT, formulated as a nutritional pick-me-up, providing nutrients targeted towards lifting mood. Omega-3s EPA and DHA enhance production of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, giving your brain the ability to feel happy and enjoy life without life’s stresses feeling too much to deal with. Antioxidants and vitamin D are particularly useful for protecting the brain during times of tension and the increased dose of vitamins B3 and B7 will support natural anti-inflammatory processes in the brain. This can improve energy production, helping you to feel energised rather than lethargic during more difficult times. The additional high dose of zinc is also provided to support a positive mood, with deficiencies commonly seen in individuals with depression.
Magnesium is included in MindCare LIFT to optimise production of the feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, promoting feelings of happiness, reward and motivation. Magnesium works alongside vitamin B6 and zinc to support enzymes required to synthesise these important neurotransmitters to enhance mood.
5-HTP is a compound made naturally in the body from the amino acid tryptophan, found in protein-rich foods such as turkey. 5-HTP is directly converted to serotonin in the body, supporting good mood and feelings of happiness. Supplementing with 5-HTP in MindCare LIFT is an efficient way to increase your production of serotonin, resulting in a lift in mood.
MindCare PROTECT – Stay sharp
To protect the brain against ageing and brain deterioration, keeping you sharp and switched on, whilst supporting memory function.
As we age, our brains require additional protection and nutritional support for optimum function long term. If you feel that your memory is starting to fade, or your ability to perform complicated tasks is deteriorating, MindCare PROTECT is designed to keep your brain going strong – whatever your age. Omega-3s EPA and DHA are increasingly important as we age, helping to control inflammation, and provide structure to cell membranes, which otherwise deteriorate with age. Omega-3s EPA and DHA also increase the transport of oxygen to the brain, whilst simultaneously supporting brain chemical messengers to enhance focus and the ability to retain information. With vitamin D and high doses of selenium and vitamin C, MindCare PROTECT safeguards brain cells against oxidative stress, while also contributing to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, improving cognitive alertness. Zinc, combined with an extra high dose of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5, also helps to improve memory and support quality of sleep, by enhancing production of the hormone melatonin.
N-acetyl L-cysteine is a powerful antioxidant added to MindCare PROTECT to provide additional defence against the age-related cognitive decline that results from oxidative stress. Cysteine is involved in many important processes in the body, including detoxification pathways in the liver and regulation of homocysteine (a harmful by-product which may otherwise damage brain cells).
With oxidative stress increasing as we age, the addition of another potent antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid, offers added protection, and can actually reverse some of the oxidant brain damage related to ageing. Alpha-lipoic acid is also able to recycle other antioxidants, optimising their health benefits, and can reduce the damaging effects of heavy metals, thereby protecting the brain. Alpha-lipoic acid also supports energy production by improving function of the powerhouses of our cells (the mitochondria).
Resveratrol is the well known polyphenol antioxidant found in red wine, sourced from the skins of red grapes. The well-documented neuroprotective benefits of resveratrol are attributed to its antioxidant properties and ability to increase glutathione levels in the brain, and therefore reducing the impact of age-related oxidative stress and neurological damage. Resveratrol also supports energy production and biological pathways involved in slowing the ageing process.
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- Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R: Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain, behavior, and immunity 2011, 25:1725-1734.
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- De Souza MC, Walker AF, Robinson PA, Bolland K: A synergistic effect of a daily supplement for 1 month of 200 mg magnesium plus 50 mg vitamin B6 for the relief of anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Journal of women’s health & gender-based medicine 2000, 9:131-139.
- Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja LR, Ohira H: L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biological psychology 2007, 74:39-45.
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