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Typically people think of supplement quality as being free of contaminants. But supplement quality extends beyond that-into formulating products will be effective, consistently potent and precisely uniform in contents. For products intended to support the brain, it is critical to take into account one very important aspect of quality: choosing ingredients that can make it there.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a critical defense for the brain. Without it, the brain would be subject to exposure to any toxin that enters the bloodstream. While the blood-brain barrier offers essential protection, the nature of the BBB also makes it very difficult to transport vital nutrients to the brain. The barrier is only passable by non-polar materials that have a small molecular size and are lipid soluble. Nutrients can also pass the barrier with very specific carrier systems. This specific requirement makes the selection of the correct form of a nutrient critical if your goal is to support brain health. One example of this is carnitine where acetyl l-carnitine has been shown to have better effects on brain health due to its ability to more easily cross the BBB compared to standard I-carnitine.
There are many nutrients that are very important to overall brain health. When choosing the best options choose the one that will actually make it to the brain. Choose options that are fat soluble, such as fish oils and the fat soluble forms of CoQ1 0 and other nutrients. There are times when better option for brain health is a bit more expensive, but the results will more than make up for the increase in cost. To ensure your choices are also free of contaminants, be sure to select from brands that are supplied by the healthcare providers and not by the vitamin stores.
By Christopher Oswald, D.C., C.N.S.
Tag: Enzo professional, blood-brain barrier, acetyl l-carnitine, carnitine, l-carnitine, coq10, fish oil