How is your memory? Are you constantly forgetting information? Are you often unable to recall basic principles? Perhaps you have a flagging memory.

The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, currently the most common form of dementia, has increased progressively over the past 100 years. Scientisits have shown that high circulating levels of total homocysteine (an amino acid, often tested by your G.P, as a marker for heart disease) are often elevated in patients with neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease). Moreover, Alzheimer's disease has also been associated with low levels of folic acid and vitamin B6. Recent studies have shown that simultaneous supplementation of folate and Vitamin B6 in dawley spraguey rats inhibited overproduction of homocysteine, Beta-Amyloid (amyloid proteins, form plaques that progressively compromise brain function) and memory deficits.

However, what I find most fascinating is the fact that individuals diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease consume significantly less dietary Vitamin B6 and folate, after the age of 60, than their peers. This being so, is it possible that cognitive impairment could be halted by way of Vitamin B6 and folate supplementation? Current, in-vivo (living organism) studies have shown that pre-administration of Vitamin B6 prior to memory training, can enhance memory retrieval. In fact, Vitamin B6 has been shown to significantly increase memory retrieval over subsequent retention tests in in-vivo studies. However, it is important to note that the memory enhancing effect is dose-dependent (100 mg per day). Interestingly, there is only 25 mg of Vitamin B6 in one tablet of Blackmore's, Executive B Stress Formula. Nonetheless, of the foodstuffs highest in Vitamin B6, Tuna contains only 1.18 mg of Vitamin B6 per 175 grams. Hence, given our lack of Vitamin B6 are we all moving towards cognitive decline. Perhaps not. Yet, our progression to cognitive superiority is subject to further deterioration when we realise that tuna, our highest source of Vitamin B6, is high in mercury, a neurotoxin strongly associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

So what to do, perhaps come and see me :). Of siginficant benefit to congitive function is the combination of the nutritionals phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo biloba, Vitamin E and Vitamin B6 for improved short term memory. However, cognitive performance has been grossly enhanced in human subjects by the consumption of folate, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6.

If you are suffering from brain fog or concerned about your memory and concentration, perhaps a visit to your local naturopath would be of benefit. Appointments can be made by phoning 0432234822.

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