Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



Supplements For Brain Health   - Brain Health Research Report

Word Count:

Most people believe a progressive decline in overall brain function is a
natural process of aging. Many published studies have shown that the
decline of brain function can be delayed, or even reversed, by proper
diet and/or supplementation.

Supplements For Brain Health

Article Body:
Most people believe a progressive decline in overall brain function is a
natural process of aging. This degenerative process causes us to lose our
short-term memory and abstract reasoning ability. It also may make
concentration or learning new information difficult. Many neurological
diseases are also directly related to aging such as dementia,
Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson's.

Many published studies have shown that the decline of brain function can
be delayed, or even reversed, by proper diet and/or supplementation. This
report is a review of the existing research done on the ingredients in
Melaleuca’s Unforgettables™ dietary supplement.

-Omega-3s in Fish Oil

Cold water fish is high on the list of brain foods because EPA and DHA,
the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish, have been linked to
enhanced memory and brain function. The fish chosen by Melaleuca for the
supplement Unforgettables are anchovy, mackerel, and sardine. These fish
are small and live only a short time; not long enough to accumulate a
buildup of harmful mercury. The fish are also pre-screened for mercury
content before processing.

In the United States and Canada, omega-3 intake through diet alone is
very low because it is usually limited to canola oil, corn oil, and other
cooking oils, as well as walnuts and flaxseed oil. These plant-based
sources give us a form of omega-3 which then needs to be converted into
DHA by the body. In women, the conversion rate to DHA is about 7%, and in
men it is less than 1%. Needless to say, these plant based sources of
omega-3 are not the optimal way to feed our brains with plenty of DHA,
which is what is needed for best brain, eye, and heart functioning.
Since cold-water fish oil is already rich in DHA, adding it to the diet
as a supplement is the best way to provide your body with DHA.
Scientists working on a nine-year study completed in 2006 found that
patients with dementia have less DHA in their brains than patients of the
same age without dementia. There is a 47% reduction in risk for
developing dementia when DHA levels in the brain are high. Free radicals
do more damage in the aged brain when there is a deficiency of DHA
because DHA protects the brain from oxidative stress. Studies are
finding that supplementation with fish-based DHA, and another component
of fish oil known as EPA, can delay and lessen the impact of age-
associated diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

-Vitamin E and Blueberry Extract

Vitamin E and blueberry extract act as antioxidants in Melaleuca’s
Unforgettables. The two of these are together in a single supplement
because the synergy between them increases their benefits. Just as we
said in our “Antioxidants for Natural Cellular Protection” Research
Report, “Many studies have indicated that combinations of antioxidant
vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids are believed to be more effective
than supplementation with any of these nutrients alone.”
Vitamin E is purported to be a very important ingredient for optimal
brain health. It could possibly halt or slow the progression of
Alzheimer’s disease because it relieves oxidative stress to brain cells.
The brain is rich in lipids (fatty compounds) which are susceptible to
oxidative damage from free radicals. Oxidative stress can really damage
memory function, and brain cells in general. When the damage has been
done, older adults start showing symptoms of “age associated memory
impairment.” In the brain, antioxidant molecules like those in vitamin E
and blueberries “wage war against molecules known as free radicals, which
can harm brain cells and brain function.” Vitamin E has actually been
shown to block the death of neurons in the brain. Essentially, a good
vitamin E supplement can prevent or slow the rate of cognitive decline as
the brain ages.

Blueberries can alleviate inflammation in the brain and spinal cord,
according to a study done by Thomas Kuhn, PhD, of the University of
Alaska. Two of the most damaging players in brain aging are inflammation
and oxidative stress. We learned that vitamin E helps to alleviate the
oxidative stress and now we find that blueberries can help to lessen the
inflammation of the spinal cord and brain tissue. Blueberry can also
strengthen the communication between neural cells and can actually
REVERSE damage done to the circuitry in the brain. The neural circuitry
in the brain tends to resemble a tree or leaf, with branches and sub-
branches feeding off the main stem. In brains of memory impaired rats,
some of the branches have withered and become disconnected. Studies done
on older memory impaired rats that were fed a diet supplemented with
blueberries found that blueberry could return brain structure back to
normal, as well as prevent the breakdown of neuronal communication. This
ade headlines for many health news outlets in November 2007

-Gingko Biloba

Gingko biloba is featured in all of Melaleuca’s ProVex products for
cardiovascular health because its properties include the improvement of
blood flow and the ability to block the effects of blood clotting. It is
added as an ingredient in Unforgettables for these reasons and because of
another property it possesses — the protection against oxidative cell
damage from free radicals. A recent six-month study on the effects of
gingko biloba in the diet of ten patients, with no dementia but mild
memory loss, found that after supplementing with at least 120 mg twice
daily, verbal recall was improved. PET scans showed better brain function
in brain memory centers. A French study found that long term
supplementation of gingko biloba “enables cognitive performance to be
maintained for longer, and indicates that the development of Alzheimer’s
disease can be prevented or at least delayed.”

In a meta-review of previously published studies on gingko biloba related
to memory function, a “small but significant effect” to short-term recall
was found when patients were treated with 120 mg to 240 mg over three to
six months.(9)


Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid normally found in nearly every
cell in your body. A phospholipid is a type of lipid. Lipids add to cell
structure and are a source of fuel. In the brain PS operates in part as a
communication facilitator between nerve cells.
Most Phosphatidylserine research has been conducted with PS derived from
the brain tissue of cows, and shows a substantial health benefit in age-
related cognitive decline, but because of concerns about the possibility
of humans contracting infectious diseases such as "mad cow" disease, this
form is not available in the US.

More recent data suggests that the complexation of standardized Ginkgo
biloba extract (GBE) with soy-derived phospholipids, the form used in
Melaleuca's Unforgettables, enhances the bio-availability of GBE's active

Results of a recent study utilizing ginkgo biloba extract with soy-
derived phospholipids showed that "administration of GBE complexed with
Phosphatidylserine resulted both in improved secondary memory performance
and significantly increased speed of memory task performance across all
of the post-dose testing sessions."

It appears from this study that Phosphatidylserine acts synergistically
to enhance the cognitive effects associated with a low dose of GBE.
Further research is required to identify whether this effect is due to
the complexation of the extracts, their mere combination, or the separate
psychopharmacological actions of the two extracts.


The ingredients in Unforgettables are a well-chosen blend of brain health
ingredients whose positive synergistic effects can help to maintain
cognitive function in older adults. We have seen that two of the most
damaging effects of age to the brain are inflammation and oxidative
stress caused by free radicals. The ingredients in Unforgettables combat
against both of these adverse side-effects of aging.

To top