Our concern about our memories and mental functioning grows as we age. When we lost our keys in our 30’s we didn’t see it as a sign of dementia starting, but as we get older, lost keys cause us to wonder. Fortunately, there is a lot of promising research on how to keep our brains functioning well and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Many studies have shown that taking the nutritional supplement R-alpha-lipoic-acid seems to improve the functioning of the cell's mitochondria and reduce the rate of decline in mental functioning in Alzheimer patients.
In the last five years animal studies have shown that adding the nutritional supplement acetyl-L-carnitine with alpha-lipoic-acid appears to actually recover mitochondria functioning, rather than just slow down the rate of decline. Research has shown the two supplements to be effective at restoring heart functioning as well as mental functioning.
Alpha-lipoic-acid seems to energize and improve the mitochondria’s function of converting food to energy while adding L-carntine seems to actually reverse damage by removing the build-up of protein in the cell walls that block the transfer of nutrients.
We first researched L-carnitine in the 1990’s when we became vegetarians.The best source of L-carnitine is beef, with smaller amounts available in cheese and other animal products. Taking the supplement made a big difference in improving our energy levels. Since returning to a beef diet, with the availability of grass-fed Hawaii beef, we have not been taking the supplement. We wonder if feed-lot beef and the “pink stuff” washed in ammonia used in fast food restaurants and grocery store ground beef provides the level of L-carnitine that we had as kids.
Though we have taken both of these nutritional supplements at different times, we never noticed a significant benefit from either of them. Since reading about the study, we started taking them together. We noticed improvement within a week in strategy video games we play every day to exercise our brains, with no other explanation. We plan to keep taking them as part of our nutritional supplements in the hopes of retaining our mental functioning as we age. If you are a regular reader of our blog you can judge for yourself whether it is helping us think and communicate better.