Vitamins are important for various growth activities in the body. The lack of one of the essential vitamins in the body system would affect the proper functioning of the body system and as such leave such individual susceptible to various types of diseases.
Vitamins play different roles, but the most significant of their roles in the body is acting as a co-factor in the synthesis of enzymes, hormones and most importantly, neurotransmitters. The importance of vitamins in the synthesis of enzymes and neurotransmitter is evident in it’s use for cognitive enhancement. As essential as vitamins are, it should be noted that the human body cannot synthesize them, and as such the food we eat must contain the required vitamins, in other to maintain a good state of health.
In this article, I would discuss the top vitamins for cognitive enhancement, their source in the regular diet, I would also suggest various vitamins supplements that can be taken, just in-case an individual is not getting enough of the required vitamins in their diet.
Top Vitamins For Cognitive Enhancement.
It is important to point out the difference between vitamins and minerals as they’re often used interchangeably. Vitamins and minerals are both required by the body, vitamins are organic substance and are easily metabolized when acted upon by external factors. Minerals on the other hand are inorganic chemical compound example of which is Zinc.
is one of the most significant vitamins required by the body on regular basis. It’s role in the development of bones cannot be overemphasized. However, it also plays a significant role in the control of neurotransmitter secretion in the brain.
Vitamin D deficiency has been shown in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and as such it’s been used as one of the treatment for this disease, and other signs of memory loss. Luckily for us, Vitamin D is quite available as long as the sun keep shining (the people in the UK might not be getting enough from the sun though), but on a regular basis, spending about ten minutes in the sun would go a long way in supplying the vitamin D needed by the body.
People with high skin pigments would absorb more as compared to light skinned people.
One of the most important vitamins for cognitive enhancement is Vitamin B. Vitamin B comes in different variants, each of which has it’s own important role in cognitive enhancement and improvement of brain functioning.
B12: This variant of vitamin B is responsible for protection of the brain cells (neuron) and transmission of nerve impulses. Vitamin B12 is responsible for production of myelin sheath that covers the neuronal cells. This sheath serves neuro-protective function, conduction and transmission of nerve impulses.
It’s been shown to be deficient in vegans and vegetarians diet and as such, they’re needed to take Vitam B12 supplements in other to cater for the body need.
B1: Vitamin B1 also know as thiamine has been shown to enhance cognitive function by improving mood and getting rid of depression. It plays a role in the supply of energy in the body by regulating the production of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) from the breakdown of carbohydrate.
Deficiency of vitamin B1 is associated with amnesia, depression, weakness and headache. In the brain, this vitamin has been shown to improve the immune system, enhance learning abilities, prevent memory loss and also increase the supply of energy to the brain.
B2: Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. It’s major role is in the transmission of nerve impulses. Deficiency of riboflavin has been shown in people with parkison and alzheimer’s disease.
Other important varieties of vitamin B includes, B6 (pyridoxine) which is an important vitamin used in the production of PLP (pyridoxal phosphate) that act as a co-factor is several biochemical processes in the body system. B9 (folate) is also another important vitamins for cognitive enhancement.
Naturally, when we breath in air from the atmosphere, the body metabolizes it, takes away the required oxygen and expels the carbon dioxide that is not needed by the body. Sadly, the process isn’t that simple or efficient. There are certain waste product of air metabolism called reactive species. These reactive species are known to affect the structure and function of the cells by reactive with other compounds in the cell.
To counter the effect of this reactive specie, the body has an effective anti-oxidant system that quickly mop up the reactive oxygen species before they get to react with other compounds like nitrogen in the cell. The substance responsible for clearing up these reactive oxygen species is called antioxidant.
Vitamin E happens to be one of the most valuable and readily available antioxidant in the body system. Deficiency of vitamin E has been linked to people that does not take enough fat. This deficiency has also been associated with alzheimer’s disease, muscle weakness, tiredness and vision problems.
Vitamin E has been shown to protect the brain from degeneration of neuronal cells, and as such delay or totally prevent dementia or other form of memory loss.
To avoid the deficiency of such an important vitamins, it’s advisable to take food such as wheat germ, egg, avocado, nuts and sweet potato.
Earlier in the post, when I was writing about vitamin E, I emphasized its role as a potent antioxidant for the body. Vitamin C however, is the most potent antioxidant present in the brain. It’s role is quite similar to that of vitamin E, however, it’s much more localized in the brain.
Vitamin C are not just antioxidants that prevents oxidative stress in the brain, they also play several other important role in the regulation and synthesis of several neurotransmitters in the brain. Their deficiency has been associated with several diseases such as nose bleeding, poor wound healing, dry skin, bad and bleeding teeth gum etc.
There are various potent vitamin C supplements in market, you can also get the required dosage of this vitamin from fruits rich in vitamin C. Fruit such as oranges, Mango, pineapples, berry etc.