Losing your memory is scary. Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you went in there? My patients joke and call it a "senior moment", but the fact is that it’s really no joking matter.
How good do you think your memory is?
Let me give you a quick test. I want you to remember these four things without writing them down: an apple, an orchid, and the words “tape” and “uncle.”
These kinds of memories will be the first to go if your brain isn’t working at 100%. You see, the aging of your brain doesn’t affect every part of your memory in the same way.
Think of your memory as a pyramid with three levels. At the top of the pyramid is your “abstract ideas” section. This is where you store your beliefs about the world. It’s also your ability to draw logical conclusions. This section is not badly affected by age. Even if you can’t remember your name, you’re likely to remember your core beliefs about life’s big questions.
The middle of the pyramid is where your general knowledge and the bulk of your general memories are stored. This is also where your skill sets reside. This can be affected by the aging process.
The bottom layer or foundation of your memory pyramid can get hit the hardest. This is the region of your personal stories and individual episodic memories. When memory loss starts to break you down, you may remember how to fly fish, but huge sections of your life’s events will be gone.
This means as you age, your memory of your personal life and what happens to you is the most threatened. What could be scarier?
Speaking of that, without looking, can you remember the words I asked you to remember at the beginning of this letter?
It shouldn’t be that hard for you. You should be able to remember four things for a few minutes. If you have trouble remembering, then your memory isn’t functioning at 100%.
In my practice today, I have found one nutrient that gives me and my patients more of a boost in brainpower that anything else I ever used. And most doctors today don’t even know about. It’s called acetyl L-carnitine (ALC).
It’s an exceptional brain supplement and I’ve seen how it has restored razor sharp thinking to my patients who take it. Studies show that when you have a deficiency in mitochondria – the engines that supply your energy –supplying the brain with ALC rebuilds it.1
ALC keeps the mind from slowing down as time goes by. In fact it shores up your ability to recall words and names, follow what others are saying, and think and reason clearly. You won’t have to worry about losing the foundation of your memories.
ALC provides a range of brain protection, improving mood and memory. It protects the brain from damage due to poor circulation. ALC helps injured nerve cells to repair and function normally again.
When researchers started looking deeper into how ALC worked, they found it stimulates your brain to grow more neurites – the branches that are extensions of your brain cells. These let brain cells communicate with each other. And ALC does this at the same rate as your body’s own nerve growth stimulant called “nerve growth factor” (NGF).
Today, we’ve discovered why… because ALC stimulates NGF itself. It also helps keep the receptors for NGF healthy and vital.
ALC puts the brakes on free radical activity. It boosts production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the basic fuel every cell in your body needs to make and transport energy. Higher levels of ATP boost your metabolism at the cellular level and can help you to lose weight. It also literally reverses the age-related cell damage that can lead to brain fog.
It even works in people who’ve already shown signs of senility or Alzheimer’s.
The science proves it. Researchers recently looked at the effects of ALC in people with mild cognitive impairment and even early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. With as little as 1.5-3 g per day, they showed significantly improved brain function across the board after three months.2
Here are my three steps to getting more ALC and boosting your brainpower:
Step 1) Food for thought – Food is always your best source for nutrients, and ALC is no exception. You can make some ALC from foods that have the amino acid lysine, like red meat, pork, parmesan cheese, cod, nuts, eggs, and the superfood spirulina.
Instead of nutrient-depleted grain-fed beef, switch to grass-fed beef. I like to get my grass-fed beef from a local farm, but you can also find it at your local farmer’s market or specialty grocery store such as Whole Foods or Fresh Market.
Step 2) Brain boost – If you find that you can’t get enough ALC though food, I recommend supplementing with at least 500 mg of ALC every day on an empty stomach. Look for a formula that that has only L-Carnitine and not D,L-carnitine. D-carnitine is synthetic, and it interferes with the action of natural L-Carnitine. Also, liquid ALC is more absorbable compared to the powders and capsules.
Step 3) Enhance the effect – Combine ALC with a cofactor that will give your brain more energy and help your body create acetyl L-Carnitine on its own. I like vitamin B12 for this purpose. You don’t need much; only 500mcg to 1mg. And, B12 is also available in liquid form so you can take them together.
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You can slow or prevent the cognitive decline that sets in with age. You have to challenge your mind every day. Think of your brain as a dynamic system. The neurons respond to environmental factors and mental stimulation. By stimulating your mind, you preserve your memory, and can even restore the clarity you had in your youth!
Research shows the more you use your brain the less your risk of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Yaakov Stern, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University in New York City discovered that people with less than an eighth-grade education had twice as much risk of developing Alzheimer's as those with formal education.
And if those with lower educational levels worked at mentally un-stimulating jobs, the risk was three times higher. The more connections, or synapses, you can develop between brain cells, the more resistant they are to the disease.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Alan Sears, M.D., is a practicing physician with extensive experience in the fields of complementary and natural healthcare. The recommendation and materials on this site represent his opinion based on his years of practicing medicine. The information and material provided on this site are for educational purposes only and any recommendations are not intended to replace the advice of your physician. You are encouraged to seek advice from your physician regarding the applicability of any recommendations with regard to your symptoms or condition. It is important that you do not reduce, change or discontinue any medication or treatment without consulting your physician first. The personal stories shared on this website are personal to the users and may not be typical of the results you will have if you follow the advice provided on this website.
The information and recommendations provided on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are provided for educational purposes only.
1. Kidd PM. “Neurodegeneration from mitochondrial insufficiency: nutrients, stem cells, growth factors, and prospects for brain rebuilding using integrative management.” Altern Med Rev. Dec 2005; 10(4):268-93.
2. Montgomery et al. “Meta-analysis of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease.” International Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2003. 18(2):61-71.
Al Sears, MD believes the best way to ensure quality in your healthcare is to allow you to be in control of it. As a world-renowned medical doctor, one of the nation’s first board-certified anti-aging physicians, and respected medical writer and researcher, Dr. Sears is a pioneer in integrated medicine. He is dedicated to enabling his patients to live longer, more active and happier lives through his breakthrough information that you won’t hear from main stream medicine as well as his unique approach to alternative natural healing.
Dr. Sears is also the founder of the Center for Health and Wellness, a successful integrative medicine and anti-aging facility in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, with over 25,000 patients. His cutting-edge therapies and reputation for solving some of the most difficult-to-diagnose cases attract patients from around the world. Discover a whole new perspective on natural health solutions and alternative treatments and start taking control of your life, and your health, today.