Two main groups of vitamins and minerals are essential for the brain and improve concentration, including people living in developed countries, who do not get enough of these nutrients, a new study reveals.
The importance of vitamins and minerals
Researchers at Edward VII Hospital, in England, found in analyzed clinical trials, research reviews, medical journal editorials and scientific meetings for the past 20 years have been trying to identify the nutrients that regulate brain function. The water-soluble vitamins of the B complex, in addition to vitamin C and the minerals calcium, magnesium and zinc, are the two most important groups of nutrients in brain function and improving concentration, according to doctors.
How they help improve concentration
The scientists suggested four ways that vitamins and minerals affect the brain. First of all, vitamins of the complex B and C that work together in a chain of chemical reactions, help the neurotransmitters of the central nervous system to have a better communication.
Second, vitamins help nerve cell membranes to quickly send and receive neurotransmitter communications.
Third, the two groups of nutrients help convert food into the single molecule (adenosine triphosphate) that all cells use for energy, especially brain cells for fuel. And fourth, several recent studies have shown that B vitamins lower homocysteine, a sign of inflammation that is a risk factor for blood vessel disease.
The researchers said that the brain accounts for 3% of body weight, and consumes 25% of glucose from the blood, a main source of energy when the body is at rest. Doctors also noted that a by-product of vitamin B1, thiamine triphosphate, occurs only in the membranes of nerve cells, and that brain tissue contains the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the body.
The body stores only small amounts of the water-soluble vitamins B and C, magnesium and zinc, in young and middle-aged adults with demanding lifestyles, and the elderly, may need more of these nutrients to maintain function optimal brain, they noted.
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