Epilepsy Talk

Brain Food for Your Health… | December 9, 2021

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).

Potassium — for optimal brain and nerve function. 

Potassium helps carry oxygen to the brain and keeps the brain  and nerves working at their best to allow for clarity of thought.

It also helps carry impulses from the brain to the large muscles.

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!

PLEASE TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING ANY VITAMINS, MINERALS OR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS, TO AVOID ANY ADVERSE INTERACTIONS WITH YOUR MEDICATIONS.

To subscribe to Epilepsy Talk and get the latest articles, simply go to the bottom box of the right column, enter your email address and click on “Follow.”

Resources:

http://www.cidpusa.org/epilepsy%20nutrition.htm

https://www.webmd.com/brain/ss/slideshow-brain-supplements

https://www.newsweek.com/feed-brain-top-vitamins-minerals-cognition-495099

https://www.healthline.com/health/dementia/vitamins-memory-loss

https://healthreview.org/brain-supplement-guide?gclid=CjwKCAjw3riIBhAwEiwAzD3Tib1iffB2ZgnCE7FNjcb2eqL_czkat5zwaiPyrRm55-pKQWrJ9ZpH7RoCd-oQAvD_BwE

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coenzyme-q10#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

https://www.naturalgrocers.com/health-hotline-article/boost-your-brain-power-acetyl-l-carnitine

https://thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/thrive-together/live-well/how-to-boost-your-brainpower-with-3-supplements


13 Comments »

  1. Hi phylis!! You left out one of the most important vitamins, not sure if it helps the brain but if u r lacking this vit then ur brain will definitely hurt from the pain it causes. The body does not store this vit and after 2 weeks one needs to replenish it.

    The last month or so i was feeling very fatigued and my teeth started to hurt, not just one but a lot of them upper and lower. It’s like what the heck is going on. Then while watching a documentary on capt. Cook ocean voyages they said the symptoms of scurvy and sure enough teeth/gum hurting as well as fatigue was part of it. So i started to take vit c and those symptoms are now gone. It was like the first day i took that vitamin i could feel the teeth getting better. It was like i could not chew on one side of my mouth without massive pain. And sure enough i checked my diet and there was not many thing i was eating at the time that had enough vit c. UGH.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Zolt — December 9, 2021 @ 10:25 AM

  2. Forgive me for omitting the obvious. 😦

    So glad you found relief with Vitamin C!

    Like

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 9, 2021 @ 10:39 AM

  3. Reblogged this on Ken's Devotions.

    Like

    Comment by Kenneth — December 9, 2021 @ 11:53 AM

  4. All of the nutrients you mentioned are indeed essential to brain health but it is possible to get them all in abundance from real foods instead of synthetic supplement pills. This is why the carnivore diet works so well.
    In addition, the brain needs enough protein and enough fat. The myelin sheaths around all neurons are made from cholesterol.
    Not only are plant foods poor sources of most nutrients, they also actively inhibit the absorption of nutrients from other foods. A great source of the zinc you mentioned above is oysters. You can measure a persons blood level of zinc over several hours after they eat oysters and see a substantial bump in their zinc. But if a person eats the exact same oysters with a side of beans and tortillas, you get zero rise in zinc levels. (Source: Dr. Georgia Ede website : diagnosisdiet dot com )

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by paleobird — December 9, 2021 @ 2:07 PM

  5. I think I’ll take a pass on the oyster tacos. Oysters are too good on their own.

    For my 28th birthday (a long time ago), Arthur ordered 28 oysters for me. That’s how much I like them!

    So, I guess I’m good to go on the zinc front.

    Here’s an article that may interest you:

    Zinc Can Help You Think! https://epilepsytalk.com/2018/04/04/zinc-can-help-you-think/

    Like

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 9, 2021 @ 2:38 PM

  6. Shhhhh 🤫 Don’t be too loud or the FDA will hear and take them away

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hetty Eliot — December 9, 2021 @ 2:53 PM

  7. LOL! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 9, 2021 @ 2:59 PM

  8. Since birth, I gave experienced Epilepsy. I took Depakote over 20 years that gave a kidney stone and fatty liver. I am now on Vimpat that comes from Switzerland. There are more side effects, but I’m keeping an eye on them. Vimpat has been working well for me. I will start taking more Vitamins. Try Life Extension in Florida. Doctors doing medical research—All Natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Rita McDonald — December 10, 2021 @ 11:48 AM

  9. V8 vegetable juice will cause strong charges for those with a vegas nerve stimulater and heartburn fir epileptics

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Grace kay — December 19, 2021 @ 4:31 AM

  10. I am 80 year old I have not had a seizure in about 15 years old My blood levels around six they should be 11 but I still have not had a seizure do you think it’s my age and they just want away

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vincent regan — January 20, 2022 @ 9:58 PM

    • Yes. I think it’s part age and also lifestyle. I know that I haven’t had a seizure in 10+ years. Mine are carefully controlled by Lamictal.

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 21, 2022 @ 9:57 AM


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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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