Reprinted from Nature’s Field
Memory: Going....Going... Going...Restored
by Halina Hladysz, M.S.

Have you ever stopped in the middle of a sentence because you couldn’t remember what it was you wanted to say? Have you ever gone into a room to pick up something and by the time you’ve reached your destination, you can’t remember what it was you came for? Have you ever forgotten the name of a person you have known for years? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, is it time to be alarmed? No! There are several options available to you to help you with your memory.

What is memory?

“Memory is the storage and retrieval of previous experience, or, more simply, the ability to recall our thoughts.”1
Sometimes information cannot be retrieved, and we say that we forgot or our mind went blank. The brain has often been compared to a computer, this analogy is very useful in helping us to understand some of the mechanisms of the brain. Like a computer, the human brain is very complex, however it is much more flexible and capable of remarkable things.

For centuries science didn’t have access to the human brain, it remained a mystery. There have been several misconceptions about the brain. A great philosopher, Aristotle, believed that the brain was composed of water just to cool the heart. We know a lot more today. We know that the brain is the size of two fists, composed of a pinkish gray tissue, wrinkled like a walnut, and weighing about 3.5 pounds in the average male, and 3.2 pounds in the average female. Proportionally to the body weight, men and women have equal sized brains. The brain’s power is not determined by the brain’s size, it is defined by the complexity of the neural connections. Approximately “ten billion neurons each have 25,000 possible interconnections with other cells.”2 For example, Einstein’s brain was only average in size yet he was an acknowledged genius.

Memory is essential for learning and for functioning in the society, therefore anxiety about memory loss is quite prevalent.

There are many potential causes of memory loss


Poor nutrition, decreased circulation to the brain which results in lack of oxygen and nutrients (CellFood), inadequate sleep, anxiety, stress, free radical damage due to poisoning by toxic substances (heavy metal, pesticides, etc.), lack of brain stimulation, and side effects caused by drugs. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the causes of memory loss. (Note from Webnat: we recommend CellFood for oxygenation at the cellular level)

MemoryCirculation is essential
It is critical to the brain function to have enough blood supply. Blood carries oxygen and important nutrients like glucose, vitamins and other substances essential to good memory. Furthermore, a few minutes without oxygen kills brain cells, and brain cells cannot reproduce after the age of seven. There are several ways the blood supply to the brain may be reduced.

First of all, our modern lifestyle encourages sitting behind a desk, or, worse yet, in front of a computer for a whole day. The air in the office is stale because there are usually no green plants or windows. We feel tired, tense, and our breathing becomes more and more shallow.

Secondly, the stress constricts the blood vessels. Stress, depending on its nature, may be beneficial or detrimental to our body. Too much stress for too long is very harmful. A person living in a chronic stress condition has reduced blood circulation to the brain, depriving it of oxygen and its vital nutrients.

Thirdly, diets that are high in saturated fats cause the narrowing of arteries by accumulation of cholesterol deposits on the walls of the blood vessels. This, along with abnormal blood clotting, restricts the blood supply to the brain. As a result we experience the symptoms of brain impairment, such as, depression, confusion, and headaches, etc.

All these described conditions lower the blood flow to the brain contributing to nerve tissue damage. As a remedy, try taking oxygen breaks in a nearby park, learn deep breathing, exercise regularly, lay on a slant board head down, adopt more relaxed habits and lifestyles, and reduce the intake of processed and saturated fats found, for example, in margarine and animal protein.

Free-radical Damage

When saturated and processed fats, radiation, pesticides, lead, and other pollutants enter our body, they initiate the production of free-radicals. In a healthy body, free-radicals are being neutralized by certain enzymes, however, in tissues where blood flow is restricted, the production of these enzymes is diminished causing free-radical damage.
The best solution to the ever-growing free-radical problem is to avoid free-radical producing substances in our life. In addition, taking antioxidant supplements is very helpful. There are many speculations about the connection of heavy metal poisoning and memory loss, including Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum deposits are found in the brains of people whose memory is impaired.

Scientists strongly suggest avoiding aluminum from any source. This means throw out all aluminum cooking pots, do not use aerosol sprays, and only drink healthy mineral water with the proper pH (7.0 to 7.5) to avoid aluminum salts added by the water authorities to our drinking water. Aluminum which is already in the body may be reduced by taking an oral chelating agent, for example, Nature’s Sunshine Mega-Chel supplement. It is also known that taking vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium may decrease aluminum deposits in the brain.

Lack of Brain Stimulation

Memory is also diminished due to a lack of stimulation in the brain. “One of the most deadening activities for your brain is watching television. Even educational television creates a passive brain experience, and the knowledge gained from it does not increase brain power.”3 Recent tests have proven that there is more brain activity associated with staring at a white wall, than watching television.

Magnesium L-threonate (Mind-Max)
A Spectacular Help for Improving Memory and Brain Function

Dr. Guosong Liu, M.D2 Ph.D., recently presented the following information at Nature’s Sunshine’s National Convention in Hawaii. Dr. Liu is Professor and Founding Director of the Center for Learning and Memory at the School of Medicine at Tsinghua University in Beijing; Adjunct Professor of the Center for Learning and Memory at the University of Texas in Austin; and Former Professor at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science and the Department of Biology at MIT.


As people age, their brains age too.
Science has shown that certain portions of the brain, namely the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, shrink as we age. Our computation skills slow. Our spatial orientation, verbal memory, perceptual speed and inductive reasoning all decrease, the last three of these decrease dramatically. Researchers have found that the number of synapses (spaces between nerve endings where brain chemicals transfer information) decreases with age. In order to recover lost ability, we need to regrow synapses in both the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus.

Scientists had already discovered that aging people and those with dementia had a lot less magnesium in their brains than younger people. They theorized that increasing brain levels of magnesium might enhance synaptic activity and thus improve brain function. Dr. Liu and his colleagues at MIT found that magnesium L-threonate (MgT), a vitamin C metabolite of magnesium, is indeed able to penetrate into the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex — the two areas of the brain known to shrink with age.

In 2003, the Journal of Nutrition reported that half of the US population may be magnesium-deficient. Deficits appear to worsen after age 50 in men, and African Americans take in less magnesium than Caucasians do. So we all can benefit from more magnesium. It has also been established that Alzheimer’s patients have much lower levels of magnesium in the body. In fact, the lower the magnesium levels, the worse the Alzheimer’s symptoms. It follows, then, that administering magnesium L-threonate, which can cross the blood—brain barrier, to Alzheimer ‘s patients would likely lead to improvements in learning, memory and emotional control.

Ingredients:
Magnesium L-threonate, gotu kola aerial parts, bacopa leaf extract and ginkgo leaf.

Recommended Use:
Take 3 capsules before breakfast and 3 capsules before bed. Only nighttime dose is recommended in the first week, add morning dose as tolerated.

We all believe in physical exercise to tone the muscles, however if it comes to improving brain function, we entirely overlook its value. Brain power can be improved with its usage because it creates, reroutes, and establishes new neural connections to old information. There are several ways to stimulate the brain, try reading books that challenge you, studying a new language, taking a class that requires mental concentration and learning, etc.

One of the most important aspects of a good memory is attention. If we don’t pay attention to our activities and surrounding environment, we will not remember anything in spite of having a great memory. Furthermore, we learn best when we are stimulated, alert, and motivated. If we are interested in remembering, if we have a zest for learning or are stimulated, we register in memory. For instance, when we witness a shocking event, transfer of the information to the memory is instant; if helping people recover from ill conditions becomes our passion, then learning herbology is a breeze.

Drugs

“Impaired mental performance caused by drug side effects is an underestimated problem among the general population,” says Rodney Richmond, M.S., R.Ph., of the Drug Information and Pharmacoepidemiology Center, at the University of Pittsburgh.4 For example, antihistamines impair the functions of neurons brain chemicals used in thought process. Many non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of memory loss, the inability to concentrate, and confusion. There are even some high blood pressure medications that have a mind-fuzzying effect.

Over-the-counter medications may cause mind-mushing. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for the list of side effects of all the drugs you are taking; try to switch to medication which has no negative effect on memory.

Herbs that Help

Mother Nature has provided us with several memory enhancing herbs and nutrients. We may regenerate the brain function through supplements and a wholesome diet. Perhaps the most famous brain herb is gingko biloba.

Gingko is a popular tree in many parts of the world that has been used since ancient times in China. Its leaf extract significantly improves memory, sociability, alertness, mood and intellectual capacity. It has been scientifically demonstrated that ginkgo extract improves blood circulation to the brain and protects brain tissues under conditions of low oxygen, increases brain vitality, prevents the tendency to form blood clots, increases the tone of the tiny capillaries that bring blood to the brain tissue, relaxes arteries and acts as a powerful anti-oxidant.

Gotu kola is a famous brain and memory tonic from India. In the Ayurvedic tradition it is one of the most important rejuvenating herbs for the nerves and brain cells. It increases intelligence, longevity, and memory. Gotu kola improves learning, and helps increase the IQ of mentally retarded children. There are several products on the market that help enhance memory. Nature’s Sunshine Mind-Max may be regularly taken to prevent the memory loss or as mental stimulants and memory enhancers. It is outstanding in helping you during times of increased demand for mental work like studying for an exam. They bring clarity and concentration to your thinking.

Vitamins and minerals effect

Certain vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients have a profound effect on brain function. All B vitamins play essential role in nerve chemistry, helping nerve impulses transmit properly and maintaining and repairing vital nerve structure. Vitamin A/Beta-Carotene, Vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc are all important antioxidants.

Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and manganese are necessary for proper nerve functions, and Coenzyme Q10 improves brain oxygenation. Some essential oils may help concentration. One mixture that is very effective is a combination of equal parts of basil, cardamom, ginger and black pepper. Use a diffuser or plant spray to distribute the fragrance.

Brain FoodFortifying the brain with the food it needs is very important. Our diets should be high in whole-grain cereals, fruits, vegetables and low-fat protein. It is very important that we get most oils from their original source whole seeds and nuts, and that we cook with Grape Seed Oil. We should exclude from our diets margarine, rancid fats and oils, shortening and lard.

“Mothers-to-be and breast-feeding mothers should take particular care to choose fresh, rich in essential fatty acids and unrefined oils.”5 Since the amino acids present in protein are vital to brain functioning, taking a protein powder supplement which contains free form amino acids, for example Nature’s Sunshine SynerProTein with Magnesium and L-Carnitine, is very helpful in memory enhancement. Blue green algae, which are also rich in amino acids, helps to build the delicate neurotransmitters of the brain, NSP Supper Algae is a great way to enhance your memory.

The brain is a great bio-computer. It is our center of intelligence, perception, feelings, creativity and spirituality. Remember that the brain also governs the vast and complex array of the body’s physiological functions. You can maximize your brain’s potential through the various steps described in this article to enjoy ideal mental, emotional and physical balance in your life.

Note from Four Winds Nutrition

For children who have difficulty concentrating, we hightly recommend: Focus Attention Powder

Millions of people, children and adults alike, have over-stimulated and undernourished brains. Mental undernourishment can affect the entire nervous system as the body tries to compensate for missing nutrients. Even normal tasks can become difficult.
Nature Sunshine has developed Focus Attention Powder to guard you from poor mental nutrition and its effects on attention and activity levels. This easy to prepare powder is perfect for children in need of mental nourishment.

HOW IT WORKS:
Focus Attention Powder is a special formulation of herbal nutrients that help sustain the body and provide key dietary compounds in a world full of toxic chemicals, food additives, pesticides, etc. Focus Attention Powder combines powerful nutrients that are required to maintain quiet, balanced mental activity. By supporting the body with a wide range of high quality nutrients, balanced function may be maintained. As an added benefit, other body systems reacting to mental stress are often relieved as the brain receives needed nutrients.

Footnotes

1 Elaine N. Marieb, R.N., Ph.D., Human Anatomy and Physiology, Second Edition (Redwood City, California: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc., 1992) p.489.
2 Bernard Jensen, D.C., N.D., Iridology The Science and Practice in the Healing Arts, Volume II (Escondido, California: Bernard Jensen, 1982) p. 454
3 Julian Whiteaker, M.D., “How to Exercise Your Brain for Peak Mental Function,” Dr. Julian’s Whiteaker Health and Healing, November 1995, pp. 7-8
4 Editors of Prevention magazine, Prevention’s Guide To Mother Nature’s Miracle Cures (Emmaus, Pensylvania: Rodale Press, 1995) p. 34