When people think of being ‘healthy,’ the image that comes to mind often involves eating right and exercising to manage their weight and keep their heart and other muscles strong. All that is vitally important of course, but good cognitive health is just as important and is overlooked at times. Cognitive health refers to the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember, or the idea of keeping your brain sharp. Cognitive impairment results from many factors; the most important independent predictor of cognitive decline is age, but there are other factors that contribute including genetic, socioeconomic, and environmental parameters, including nutrition.1 Some factors, like age, cannot be controlled, but we can act in other ways to best support our cognitive health as we age.
There is extensive evidence that diet and cognitive function are related, and it is one aspect we can take control of. A number of studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has been associated with decreased rates of cognitive decline and reduced instances of Alzheimer’s disease.1 The Mediterranean diet emphasizes lots of phytonutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s from seafood, and has little red meat, sweets, and processed foods compared to the typical western diet. Multiple components of that diet provide its benefits, one that is often highlighted is the rich amounts of omega-3s. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are essential for proper functioning of brain cells since they make up part of the cell membrane, keeping them flexible enough to communicate with each other. There is evidence of declining levels of PUFAs in the brain as it ages and levels may be worse in those with Alzheimer’s.1 A double-blind study on omega-3 supplementation in older adults showed that supplementation had a positive effect on memory function compared to a placebo.2
A lesser-known role of omega-3s is that they interact with other nutrients for a synergistic effect. An experiment gave subjects over 70 years old with mild cognitive impairment with B vitamin supplements and measured their omega-3 levels. B vitamin supplementation did not benefit those with low omega-3 status, but those with high levels of omega-3s, in particular DHA, showed improved improvements in memory and a slowing of cognitive decline.3 This positive interaction between omega-3s and B vitamins show that there are things we can do to support healthy cognitive aging. There are of course many other nutrients and lifestyle factors involved, but this is a good place to start.
The NeoLife Difference
A balanced diet is certainly important, but a busy lifestyle can make it difficult to always fit everything you need into your diet. High quality dietary supplements can be a useful tool to help you fill in any nutrient gaps. NeoLife’s Omega-III Salmon Oil Plus contains a family of eight omega-3s, including DHA and EPA, and each serving provides the omega-3 equivalent to one serving of fresh salmon. All sources are screened for over 200 potential contaminants and our standards meet even the most rigorous global safety standards.
NeoLife’s Super B includes eight members of the B-vitamin family in balanced ratios as they occur naturally in foods. It provides a sustained release of B-complex nutrients over a period of six hours.
The Mediterranean diet, associated with healthy cognitive function and aging, is packed with fruits and vegetables that provide phytonutrients, a variety of beneficial compounds produced by plants, including flavonoids and carotenoids. NeoLifeTea has naturally occurring flavonoids from green, black, and white teas and Tré is another great source of flavonoids and contains pomegranate and açaí extracts, green tea polyphenols, and our proprietary berry blend.
Pro Vitality is packed with lipids and sterols from whole grains, carotenoids from fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids from fish, and 21 essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins – all in convenient on-the-go packaging. Pro Vitality is NeoLife’s whole-food based foundation for lifelong health and vitality.*
- Dominguez LJ, Barbagallo M. Nutritional prevention of cognitive decline and dementia. Acta Biomed. 2018; 89(2): 276-90.
- Kulzow N, et al. Impact of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on memory functions in healthy older adults. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016; 51(3): 713-25.
- Oulhaj A, et al. Omega-3 fatty acid status enhances the prevention of cognitive decline by B vitamins in mild cognitive impairment. J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2016; 50(2): 547-57