Uridine-5’-monophosphate (UMP) is a basic building block of RNA and DNA as well as of phosphatides such as phosphatidylcholine that are critical to optimal brain function and the health of neuronal cell membranes. Naturally found in the milk of nursing mothers, UMP is essential not only for the growth and development of infant brains, but also for healthy cognitive function in aging adults.14,15 Dietary supplementation with UMP may increase brain acetylcholine and phosphatide levels, and enhance some cholinergic functions.16
The Cognitex formula provides other critical extracts that support healthy brain function, such as blueberry standardized with both anthocyanins and pterostilbene.
Blueberry anthocyanins are considered one of nature’s most potent antioxidants and have demonstrated properties that extend well beyond suppressing free radicals.17,18 Pterostilbene, the other blueberry constituent, helps maintain healthy lipid and glucose levels in those already within normal range.19 Importantly, through their unique biological effects, pterostilbene and anthocyanins may help support DNA structure.20
A crucial building block in the brain is phosphatidyl-serine (PS). In fact, brain tissues are especially rich in this nutrient. However, aging causes a decline in the PS content of cells throughout the body including brain cells, which can lead to cognitive decline. Phosphatidylserine helps the brain use its fuel efficiently. By boosting glucose metabolism and stimulating production of acetylcholine, supplemental phosphatidylserine has been shown to improve the condition of patients experiencing age-associated memory impairment or cognitive decline.10,12 Thus, replacing this brain food is essential.
Cognitex contains a compound that mimics the naturally occurring PS in the brain. Sharp-PS® Gold fortified with omega-3 fatty acids delivers PS to the brain to help retard the cognitive degeneration so often seen with advanced age. These unique nutrients have been extensively studied and may be of tremendous benefit for the aging brain.12
The brain is a highly active organ that produces high levels of free radicals. These free radicals can bombard the fatty membranes of neurons and other brain cells causing premature loss of function. Cognitex contains a number of phytonutrient-based antioxidants that work best in a lipid (fat) rich environment like the brain.
While antioxidant nutrients provide essential free radical protection, many have limited capacity once they have spared an electron to balance a free radical. Cognitex contains a novel rosemary extract that is rich in carnosic acid, which provides multi-step protection against free radicals in a process called the carnosic acid cascade.21 At each step of free radical interaction a new compound is formed, which in turn is a powerful antioxidant in itself.
Nutritional support for the brain is challenging as a barrier called the blood-brain barrier keeps out toxins as well as beneficial nutrients and drugs. Cognitex contains a grape seed extract called Leucoselect® Phytosome™. By pairing proanthocyanidins from grape seed extract with phosphatides from soy lecithin in the Phytosome™, the uptake and distribution to target tissues of the grape seed polyphenols is enhanced.
Once in the brain, the grape seed polyphenols trap dangerous hydroxyl free radicals that turn fat rancid. These fats make up the outer lipid membrane of trillions of brain cells. These polyphenols also protect blood circulation and oxygen flow by improving the tone and elasticity of blood vessels.22-24
High levels of procyanidins from grape seed extract do not ensure an extract is going to have a beneficial effect on the brain. Polyphenols with higher molecular weight cannot be absorbed. Leucoselect® Phytosome™ contains smaller size molecules for advanced neurological activity.
Taking dietary supplements can often be an act of faith as we often cannot feel what they are doing. Cognitex provides the patented, nonstimulant phytonutrient called Sensoril®. Sensoril® is a proprietary standardized extract of ashwagandha, also known as “Indian ginseng,” and used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine for boosting brain function and alleviating mental fatigue. Advanced extraction practices allow for a highly concentrated yet balanced brain nutrient. The effects can often be felt immediately with greater alertness and focus but without jitteriness.
Sensoril® also helps modulate the stress response resulting in cortisol excretion. Stress can be very damaging to the brain, especially memory function, and cortisol stimulates the body to release sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream.
Cognitex provides a NeuroProtection Complex consisting of highly concentrated standardized extracts of hops, ginger, and rosemary that help suppress inflammatory cytokines.25-29
Brain cells such as neurons are fed by blood vessels. Some of these microcapillaries can be so small that red blood cells carrying oxygen have difficulty passing through them.
Neurons are the key structure for cognitive functions including memory. Vinpocetine enhances blood flow by dilating blood vessels and reducing blood viscosity. Vinpocetine enhances cerebral metabolism by helping to maintain healthy blood flow and glucose levels in those already within normal range, which enhances oxygen utilization.30
L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC), an acetylcholine precursor, is naturally present in all the body’s cells. Its importance to life and safety as a supplement are evidenced by its substantial presence in human breast milk.31,32 Acetylcholine is an essential neurotransmitter involved in muscle control, sleep, and cognition. Alpha-GPC plays a key role in both the synthesis and the catabolic recycling of phospholipids. Alpha-GPC supplementation may result in an increased rate of phospholipid synthesis, including the phosphoinositides available for signal transduction at central nervous system level.33
Acetylcholine decline coincides with advancing age, and is a hallmark of neurodegenerative decline. Cognitex provides Alpha-GPC as a crucial building block for the production of acetylcholine in the brain.34,35
Pregnenolone is a neuroactive hormone that may be especially beneficial to the brain, yet the body’s production of it declines with age.36
All these ingredients work synergistically to promote optimal cognitive function.