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Kourt is obsessed with learning everything she can about keeping her mind in tip-top health, and that includes the brain. She’s tried brain mapping and makes sure her supplement lineup always includes a brain booster.
Brain supplements can be a game changer for your mental wellness, but if you’re not taking the right one for you, you might as well not be taking any. Just like the rest of the body, sometimes there are deficiencies in the brain. In order to get the most out of your supplements, you first have to figure out what you’re missing.
Bryan Hixson, Director of Neuroscience at the Brain Performance Center (the same place where Kourt had her brain mapping done), is here to break down the major brain supplements on the market and how to make sure they’re genuinely serving your needs.
“Your brain is 60% fat, and half of that is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are as essential to your brain as protein is to your muscles. They are the primary building blocks of the electrical connections in your brain,” explains Bryan.
An omega-3 deficiency can have a huge impact on how your brain functions and has been shown in studies to be associated with ADHD, poor memory, accelerated cellular aging, reduced athletic performance, and an increased risk of dementia.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
Citrus Sorbet High Potency Fish Oil
Orthomega Fish Oil
Ortho Molecular Products
“Magnesium is an essential nutrient that acts as a gatekeeper to trigger brain wave activity when needed and block brain waves from being triggered when not needed,” says Bryan.
If you lack magnesium, these brain waves stay active, keeping part of your brain in “a hypervigilant state.”
“Magnesium deficiency can lead to brain wave dysregulation,” he adds, “which is associated with disorders such as anxiety, OCD, depression, migraines, and insomnia.”
Magnesium Glycinate 500mg
Magnesium Bisglycinate 200mg
“The vitamin B family is vital for optimal brain health and cognitive function,” says Bryan. “They play an important role in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, which regulate your energy levels, motivation, happiness, and sense of peace. B vitamins have also been linked to the prevention of memory decline.”
Thorne Basic B-Complex
Thorne Basic B-Complex
Vitamin B Complex with Vitamin C
Butyric acid is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that comes from good bacteria in the gut breaking down dietary fiber. When you have a butyric acid deficiency, the gut struggles to keep its bacteria levels balanced, which has been linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
“Research suggests that this type of fermentation process plays a significant role in maintaining the blood-brain barrier, protecting against neurodegenerative diseases,” Bryan shares. “Additionally, its anti-inflammatory capabilities fight against brain inflammation linked to diseases such as Parkinson’s.”
ProButyrate Gut Health Supplement
Tesseract Medical Research
We all know how important a little sunshine and vitamin D can be, but that’s extra true for the brain.
“When our skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically UVB rays (from outside sunlight), it triggers the body to produce vitamin D,” Bryan explains. “This supports neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons), reduces inflammation, and regulates mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.”
If vitamin D levels are too low, it can cause a range of issues—including (gasp!) inhibiting sexual desire and satisfaction.
“Increasing sunlight exposure, particularly in the morning, helps synchronize your internal clock or circadian rhythm, promoting better sleep quality and consistency,” adds Bryan. “Sunscreen will not lessen these benefits, so make sure to wear it and stay safe when outside.”
Liquid Ionic Vitamin D3 + K2
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These five supplements—omega 3, magnesium, vitamin B, butyric acid, and vitamin D—can make a big difference in your brain health, but only if there's a deficiency. Be sure to check with an experienced professional to identify what may be lacking before trying any supplement. Prioritize your brain health because when your mind thrives, everything else follows.