Mental Acuity – How To Keep A Young Brain Throughout Life

by | Aug 30, 2016

On April 2nd, 2013, congress proposed a forward-thinking, $100 million research program designed to unlock the mysteries of the human brain.  Shaklee Mental Acuity is in the spotlight.

Shaklee Mental Acuity Complex® teams Ginkgo biloba with hawthorn, bilberry, and rosemary – herbs that have circulatory protective properties – to help maintain such normal cognitive functions as memory and decision making and many other areas (see below).

Product literature lists the following information for Shaklee Mental Acuity Complex:

  • MentalAcuityContains a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba leaf (24% flavone glycosides, 6% terpene lactones)
  • Three capsules provide 120 mg of ginkgo
  • In recent studies conducted with older test subjects, ginkgo was shown to help maintain normal cognitive functions, such as memory and decision making
  • It’s believed that Ginkgo biloba extract improves blood circulation to all areas of the body, including the brain, thereby increasing mental acuity and reducing absentmindedness
  • Also contains hawthorn, bilberry, and rosemary: important herbs with protective properties

Take Mental Acuity after the first incidence of forgetting where you left your keys!

BRAIN Initiative

On April 2nd, 2013, congress proposed a forward-thinking, $100 million research program designed to unlock the mysteries of the human brain. The BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative seeks to identify how brain cells and neural circuits interact through diet and the environment in order to inform the development of future treatments for brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.  Of course out interest is in prevention of these and other conditions.  Shaklee Mental Acuity is perfectly positioned to provide the foundational support for keeping a healthy and active brain well into advanced age.  Mapping genetic pathways and altering diet and lifestyle habits to bring about better brain health is the exciting field of neurogenomics and one that I am implementing in my nutritional practice.

Neurogenomics 

The nervous system is made up of two major types of cells – neuroglial cells and neurons. Hundreds of different types of neurons exist in humans, with varying functions – some of them process external stimuli; others generate a response to stimuli; others organize in centralized structures (brain,spinal ganglia) that are responsible for cognition, perception, memory, and regulation of motor functions. Neurons in these centralized locations tend to organize in giant networks and communicate extensively with each other. Defects in chemical processing within these cells is due to genetic code variations.  While some gene alterations may produce an Einstein, the majority are now found to hinder rather than help our overall health.  Since the human genome study unraveled over 450 “addresses and codes” for illness, we find that only nutrition can suppress the “bad” genes while promoting the good genes.  This gene expression is termed epigenomics and is controlled by diet, environment and stress.

Neurogenomic Nutrition

In order to communicate to our higher brain, our bodies use symptoms, whether mental or physical, to tell us that we are ill. But to understand the meaning behind those symptoms, we must listen to and understand another language through which our imbalanced physiology speaks – biochemistry. Laboratory testing is one way those nutrition biochemical messages can be made audible.

Further areas where Ginkgo biloba shines includes:

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

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OUTCOME MAGNITUDE OF EFFECT

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CONSISTENCY OF RESEARCH RESULTS

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NOTES
Cognitive Decline Notable HIGHSee all 11 studies
For usage of EGb-761 at 240-360mg daily as a therapeutic option in people who already are experiencing cognitive decline, then it appears to be reliably effective and comparable to 10mg Donezepil.
Memory Minor HIGHSee all 12 studies
There appears to be a fairly reliable increase in short term memory and free recall associated with ginkgo supplementation in older individuals (55yrs or above) either with or without diagnosed neuroSee more
Symptoms of Intermittent Claudication Minor VERY HIGHSee all 6 studies
There appears to be reduced symptoms of intermittent claudication with ginkgo supplementation, although it seems to vary significantly from one individual to another and despite some persons experienSee more
Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness Notable MODERATESee all 7 studies
There appears to be a quite potent yet quite unreliable reduction in symptoms of AMS when ginkgo is taken at 240mg daily for 1-5 days prior to a trip up a mountain. The reason for this variability isSee more
Blood Flow
Minor
LOWSee all 7 studies
Ginkgo biloba has shown both vasodilatory effects (via nitric oxide metabolism) and some possible constrictive effects, depending on the context of supplementation.
Cognition Minor HIGHSee all 7 studies
Other parameters of cognition are differentially influenced by ginkgo, as facial recognition in those with dementia has noted improvement yet trip planning in middle-aged persons is unaffected.
Ocular Blood Flow Minor HIGHSee all 3 studies
An increase in ocular blood flow has been noted in instances of normal tension glaucoma as well as healthy controls, although a one-time oral dose is ineffective (at least two days supplementation isSee more
Sleep Quality Minor HIGHSee all 3 studies
There may be an increase in sleep efficiency (reduced waking during the night) without any apparent enhancement of REM sleep, this seems to be related to the flavonoid portion
Subjective Well-being Minor HIGHSee all 3 studies
An improvement in mood has been noted in persons with cerebral injury, but not in otherwise healthy middle aged persons.
Symptoms of Alzheimers Minor VERY HIGHSee all 5 studies
Cognitive impairment that is associated with Alzheimer’s appears to be significantly reduced with ginkgo supplementation.
Attention VERY HIGHSee all 5 studies
Attentional focus and similar parameters (task switching) do not appear to be significantly influenced by ginkgo supplementation.
Blood Pressure VERY HIGHSee all 7 studies
Despite the influence on blood flow and circulation, there does not appear to be a significant influence on blood pressure
Heart Rate VERY HIGHSee all 6 studies
No significant influence of ginkgo biloba supplementation on heart rate.
Intraocular Pressure VERY HIGHSee all 3 studies
Despite the increase in ocular blood flow associated with repeated dosing of ginkgo biloba, there does not appear to be a significant modification of intraocular blood pressure in persons with normalSee more
Libido VERY HIGHSee all 4 studies
Although a potential benefit cannot be ruled out at this moment in time (the first pilot study showed promise and there are some responders), overall ginkgo does not appear to influence SSRI-induced See more
Stroke Recovery Rate VERY HIGHSee study
Although there is some scattered evidence to support the role of ginkgo in stroke recovery rates, the best evidence currently available does not find a significant therapeutic benefit.
Symptoms of Tinnitus VERY HIGHSee all 4 studies
There does not appear to be a significant and reliable therapeutic effect of ginkgo on tinnitus symptoms, although limited evidence suggests that if tinnitus is a side-effect of cognitive decline thaSee more
Working Memory VERY HIGHSee all 3 studies
Despite the improvement in short term memory and recall, there does not appear to be a significant improvement in working memory.
Myeloperoxidase Notable VERY HIGHSee study
The 29.6% reduction in MPO concentrations following supplementation of 240mg EGb-761 in persons with metabolic syndrome was fairly notable.
Oxidation of LDL Notable MODERATESee 2 studies
In high risk individuals, the reduction has been noted to be 17.0+/-5.5%
Proteinuria Notable VERY HIGHSee study
The study in diabetics noting a reduction in urinary albumin noted a near halving over 8 weeks with a low dose of ginkgo.
ADHD in Children Minor VERY HIGHSee study
Ginkgo appears to reduce symptoms of ADHD, but 80-120mg of the EGb-761 extract has been confirmed to be less potent than 20-30mg Ritalin
Anxiety Minor VERY HIGHSee study
Prolonged supplementation of ginkgo biloba appears to confer anxiolytic effects in persons with generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety in dementia may also be reduced secondary to treating the symptomSee more
Apolipoprotein A Minor VERY HIGHSee study
In high risk individuals, the reduction has been noted to be 23.4+/-7.9%
Atherosclerosis Minor VERY HIGHSee study
In high risk subjects, supplementation of ginkgo biloba appeared to reduce atherosclerotic buildup relative to control at the standard supplemental dose.
Breast Cancer Risk Minor VERY HIGHSee study
An increase in breast cancer risk has been noted to barely pass statistical significance in an analysis of cancer development in elderly persons (75 years or older) given EGb-761 daily for a median 6See more
C-Reactive Protein Minor VERY HIGHSee study
A decrease in C-reactive protein is noted with supplementation of Ginkgo biloba
Calmness Minor VERY HIGHSee study
One study to assess the effects of ginkgo biloba in cognition, which failed to improve alertness, noted an increase in self-reported calmness with 120mg (EGb-761)
Cerebral Blood Flow Minor VERY HIGHSee all 3 studies
There appears to be a significant improvement in blood flow to the middle and anterior cerebral arteries, although other arteries are unaffected.
Cortisol Minor VERY HIGHSee study
The increase in cortisol seen before a stress test is attenuated with supplementation of ginkgo, secondary to its anti-stress effects
Creatinine Minor VERY HIGHSee study
A slight decrease in urinary creatinine has been noted with ginkgo supplementation in diabetics with nephropathy
General Oxidation Minor VERY HIGHSee study
There appears to be a reduction in general oxidation as assessed by biomarkers (reduced glutathione, etc.) associated with supplementation of ginkgo biloba
Interleukin 6 Minor VERY HIGHSee study
A slight reduction in IL-6 has been reported in persons who are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome
Microcirculation Minor VERY HIGHSee study
There is a small increase in microcirculation seen in elderly persons given ginkgo biloba, extending to both periphery and the liver. Benefits seem to be time dependent and greater at day 30 relativeSee more
Nitric Oxide Minor VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
An increase in cGMP (downstream mediator of nitric oxide signalling) has been noted in high risk individuals alongside an increase in superoxide dismutase, to the degree of 27.7+/-8.3% and nitric oxiSee more
Numerical Memory Minor VERY HIGHSee study
The study that investigated numerical working memory has noted an impairment associated with ginkgo relative to placebo
Oxygen Uptake Minor VERY HIGHSee study
In persons undergoing high altitude climbing, the reduced risk of AMD is associated with increased functional capacity of blood to carry oxygen.
Pink Eye Minor VERY HIGHSee study
Eye drops containing ginkgo biloba appear to be more effective than control in reducing symptoms of conjunctivitis (pink eye) after a month of treatment
Processing Accuracy Minor VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
The number of errors seen in serial threes and serial sevens tasks appears to be reduced with acute supplementation of EGb-761
Processing Speed Minor MODERATESee 2 studies
In older individuals, there appears to be an increase in processing speed without a sacrifice in accuracy
Reaction Time Minor MODERATESee 2 studies
Alongside improvements in general cognition in older individuals, an increase in reaction time has been noted.
Risk of Peripheral Vascular Disease Minor VERY HIGHSee study
There appears to be a significantly reduced risk of developing peripheral vascular diseases when using ginkgo biloba supplementation relative to placebo in older individuals
Serum BDNF Minor VERY HIGHSee study
An increase in serum BDNF has been confirmed in persons with schizophrenia and tardive dyskinesia only
Stress Minor VERY HIGHSee study
There may be some anti-stress properties of ginkgo biloba supplementation when a single dose is taken prior to a stress test
Symptoms of PMS Minor VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
There appear to be reductions in the symptoms of PMS associated with ginkgo supplementation, the degree of reduction being reported at up to 23.68%
Symptoms of Schizophrenia Minor MODERATESee all 4 studies
Symptoms of schizophrenia appear to be reduced with supplementation of ginkgo biloba (EGb-761 at 240-360mg daily), although all studies currently use ginkgo alongside standard antipsychotic therapy.See more
Symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia Minor VERY HIGHSee study
Symptoms of tardive dyskinesia appear to be slightly reduced with supplementation of ginkgo biloba
Symptoms of Vitiligo Minor VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
EGb-761 appears to be associated with skin repigmentation in persons suffering from vitiligo, although the degree of this effect is fairly modest
Visual Acuity Minor VERY HIGHSee study
Improvements have been noted in the visual field in persons with normal tension glaucoma, which is characterized by damage to this parameter. It is uncertain whether ginkgo increases visual acuity inSee more
Anti-Oxidant Enzyme Profile LOWSee 2 studies
Apolipoprotein B VERY HIGHSee study
No significant alterations are observed in apolipoprotein B concentrations
Blood Glucose VERY HIGHSee study
In diabetics, ginkgo does not appear to significantly reduce blood glucose
Cancer Risk VERY HIGHSee study
No significant influence on overall cancer risk associated with prolonged usage of EGb-761 in elderly individuals
Depression VERY HIGHSee study
Supplementation of ginkgo does not appear to significantly influence depressive symptoms in older individuals
Risk of Alzheimers Disease VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
Although ginkgo may have an acute therapeutic benefit, supplementation of ginkgo daily over the course of years in persons at risk for Alzheimer’s does not appear to be too effective as a preventativSee more
Risk of Dementia VERY HIGHSee study
Similar to the inability of ginkgo biloba to influence Alzhiemer’s disease occurrence, ginkgo does not appear to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Risk of Myocardial Infarction VERY HIGHSee study
The risk of myocardial infarction (as well as other heart conditions such as angina) does not appear to be significantly affected by ginkgo supplementation.
Risk of Stroke VERY HIGHSee study
The risk of stroke does not appear to be reduced with supplementation of 240mg EGb-761 in older individuals.
Symptoms of Autism VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
The better conducted trial and parts of the preliminary evidence suggest no therapeutic benefit of ginkgo biloba in the treatment of autism
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis VERY HIGHSee study
Supplementation of ginkgo has failed to significantly benefit the cognition of persons with multiple sclerosis
Symptoms of Raynauds Phenomena VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
No significant influence of ginkgo biloba supplementation on the symptomology of Raynaud’s Phenomenon
Verbal Fluency VERY HIGHSee 2 studies
No significant influence of supplemental ginkgo on verbal fluency even in persons with cognitive injuries.
Skin Moisture Notable VERY HIGHSee study
The lone study assessing the effects of topical application of 0.3% ginkgo flavonoids in a cream noted a 28% increase in skin moisture content over 28 days, a highly relevant increase.
Skin Quality Minor VERY HIGHSee study
Skin smoothness/roughness is beneficially influenced with topical application of ginkgo flavonoids at 0.3%
Wrinkles Minor VERY HIGHSee study
There appears to be a slight decrease in skin wrinkling following topical application of 0.3% ginkgo for 28 days

How To Get a Neurogenomic Profile

A simple mailing kit is sent to our patients containing a buccal swab and transport test tube.  The buccal swab (Q-Tip) is designed to collect some loose cells in your mouth.  Brush your teeth the night before the test. Do not eat any food after you have brushed your teeth. Upon awakening for the day of collection, do not brush your teeth, eat or drink anything prior to the sample collection.  After swabbing the inside of your cheek for 10 to 15 seconds, place the swab in the test tube media and send directly to the genetic testing lab.  I will go over your report and have a consult over those dietary and supplement factors that can bring out the best in your brain chemistry.

To Get Your Own Personalized Nutritional Analysis Report & CD through the Build A Better You Program. Call Angie: (503) 631-4184
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Dr. Brouse is a widely-recognized authority in the fields of nutrition and prevention of chronic degenerative diseases. He follows the practice of natural nutrition and lifestyle espoused by a number of pioneers in the field such as Linus Pauling, Abram Hoffer, Robert Cathcart, James Duke, and Evan Shute. He is an effective teacher with the ability to communicate scientific information in a manner that the general public can understand and apply.

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