Epilepsy Talk

Brain Food for Your Health… | July 28, 2017

Please understand, I am NOT saying that these supplements will cure, treat or prevent epilepsy — but I am saying that we folks with epilepsy have to do everything we can for our brain health.

And these supplements can help a lot with that.

In fact, the nutrients they contain are so important for your brain cells, you really should seriously consider them. That’s how strongly I feel.  And the science backs me up.

B Complex Vitamins — without a question, they are the star of all vitamins. In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, they are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group.  And when combined, they work synergistically together.

Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food.

Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.

Quality vitamins and minerals can be supplemented with any of the nutrients listed below.

Some of them are already included in your B complex. Take a look at the list below and weigh the benefits before deciding on further supplements…

400 mcg. Folic Acid — folic acid is recommended by doctors since it’s destroyed by many anti-epilepsy drugs and is necessary for normal neurological function.

It sometimes reduces seizure frequency and it often improves mood, intellectual speed, alertness, concentration, self-confidence, independence and sociability.

And folic acid in pregnant women (both before and during pregnancy) can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine.

250-400 IU (international units) Vitamin E — vitamin E has been indicated in research to reduce seizure rate by as much as 50%.

It has even been reported to reduce seizure frequency in patients with intractable epilepsy.

Deficiency will result in apathy, irritability and lack of concentration. It generally works best when combined with 50 to 200 mcg. of selenium.

500-1500mg. Calcium — is useful in the treatment of epilepsy because of its sedative effects which are calming and relaxing to the nervous system. And, of course, there’s the matter of your bone health.

Calcium works best when combined with 400mg. of magnesium.  Or you can get pills combining calcium and magnesium.

10g. Vitamin D — a recent study showed that 44.5% of epilepsy patients — men and women — were vitamin D deficient, putting these people at potential increased risk for a wide variety of conditions, including osteoporosis, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infectious disease, among others.

In addition, people with epilepsy, memory problems, dementia and Alzheimer’s are often deficient in vitamin D.

Even if you sit out in the sun all day, it’s not possible to get enough!

2 g. Fish Oil (with high levels of EPA and DHA) —polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA — found in abundance in natural fish oils and supplements — can be beneficial in the treatment of nearly every illness, especially neurological, cognitive and psychological disorders.

These essential fatty acids are some of the most important building-blocks for our brains, and neurons are much more likely to misfire in the event of omega-3 deficiency.

Because of the many discoveries relating omega-3 fats to improved brain function, it’s no wonder that many people with epilepsy are turning to fish oil as a natural therapy.

300 mg. Coenzyme Q10 (taken with a meal) — cases of coenzyme Q10 deficiency can cause weakness, fatigue, and seizures.

Research has found that supplementing with a coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can improve those symptoms.

Because it is essential for sustaining life and healthy cell development, coenzyme Q10 has therapeutic benefits in the treatment of symptoms associated with cell, immune, brain, heart, muscle and nerve disorders.

Additionally, this compound treats two types of seizures affected by cell dysfunction — both generalized (including myoclonic and tonic-clonic) and partial seizures.

500 mg. Acetyl-L-Carnitine — Acetyl-L-Carnitine energizes the brain and increases the levels of important neurotransmitter chemicals needed for memory, focus, and learning.

Research shows that it also prevents and repairs the damage done to brain cells caused by stress and poor nutrition.

Because of these three benefits, Acetyl-L-Carnitine dramatically improves mental concentration and mental energy.

It is a natural component of our brain’s chemistry, but the body only makes it in small amounts. So supplementing with it is highly recommended for optimal brain function.

It is also suggested that Acetyl-L-Carnitine can prevent side effects caused by Valproic Acid (Depacon, Depakene, Depakote), seizure medications.

Conversely, Acetyl-L-Carnitine can raise the risk for seizures, although this is rarely shown in clinical studies.

Magnesium — a vital component of epilepsy recovery, and many believe that magnesium deficiency is the root cause of epileptic seizures.

Lots of people choose to supplement with magnesium using epsom salt (magnesium sulphate).

Zinc — a deficiency has been shown to cause seizures.

A study that was published in 1990, showed that this could be quickly corrected with adequate zinc supplementation.

Many epilepsy sufferers have noted significant improvements in their condition with zinc intake.

The bottom line is: think about what you put into your body.  It can dramatically improve your brain health and, in some cases, seizure tolerance.

Brain Food. It’s as simple as the second letter of the alphabet!


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  1. I believe 1 of the best guidelines to have for brain foods & brain health is the book EXCITOTOXINS,, The Taste That Kills, by Dr. Russel Blaylock. In it he warns of the toxic chemicals, preservatives & additives that we find in everything we do for our health, BREAD is one food, which I now only buy DAVE’s BREAD. The rest stays on the shelf for obvious reasons. To say everything that is in breads I would be typing this time next week. I know too that any STEARATES found in vitamins & minerals are only what I call an AID like the STARTER of an engine, that makes the rest of the motor go.
    When digestive system is not working right from some STEARATES, then HOW will you expect the brain to opperate in a clean matter free of other toxins & chemicals, which over time WILL effect the function of the total brain. Everyone say to NEVER drink beer or any other alcoholic drinks with AED’s being taken. So why digest other toxic chemicals from other foods & drink, that can be worse & in some cases are than any alcoholic or ASPARTAME drinks ? Minerals & Vitamin supplements are all in that same class, when ”’IF YOU DO NOT KNOW what you are buying, you do not know WHAT YOU ARE TAKING””. The brain will not lie when something GOOD no seizures,,or BAD & more seizures happens.


    Comment by C D — July 28, 2017 @ 10:12 AM

  2. Phyllis, a lot of people including some well known doctors who “push” their own line of suplements would agree with you. Many others wouldn’t. The safety and quality of supplements, especially those using materials of Asian origin are very problematic. Essential substances such as B6 and even B9, in high dosages can cause severe problems which in rare cases are irreversible. Before taking ANY supplement I know you would agree that one should discus it with an open minded well qualified physician. And I would recommend going on the Internet and watching a PBS Frontline documentary called “Supplements and Safety.”

    Vitamin Supplements in general are a waste of money and worse can be harmful. Get them from food. In the rare cases when supplements are needed you have to get expensive pharmaceutical quality to minimize the risk of contamination .. and to increase the chance that the amount of content stated is actually correct. Fish oil is just as problematic. The minerals Calcium. Magnesium and Potassium, in the form of “salts” such as carbonate, citrate, malate and oxalate, should also be used very cautiously because they can interfere with prescription drugs and in excess lead to heart and other problems.

    The additives industry is just as profit orientated as the pharmaceutical industry …. but lacks the regulatory oversight and scientific support of the pharmaceutical industry. Buyer beware!

    Michael. H



    Comment by Michael H — July 28, 2017 @ 11:51 AM

  3. That article you cited above, Phyllis, is a great one about getting the optimal nutrition we need directly from foods. This, I think is ideal. I try to get everything from food and supplement with actual food based supplements instead of synthetics which are not as bio-available.
    The supplements I take are desiccated liver capsules, moringa capsules (more calcium than milk), turmeric, krill oil (better than fish oil because no mercury issue).

    I totally agree with the poster above who said that you need to be aware of supplement quality. This is not a place to “be thrifty” and go with the CVS house brand. Get a good quality organic supplement with no fillers or additives, “binding agents”, etc. involved.

    I also agree that the book by Dr. Blaylock about Excitotoxins should be mandatory reading for everyone with epilepsy but that is more about what not to eat than what to eat. Both are important though.


    Comment by paleobird — July 28, 2017 @ 6:15 PM

    • I take krill oil too. And I thank you for your other suggestions.

      Also thanks also for the second vote on Dr. Baylock’s book.

      When it finally comes down to it, I guess we ARE what we eat. (And not!)


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 28, 2017 @ 11:05 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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