Healthy Brain. Healthy Heart.
Staying away from the temptations of life such as a delicious hamburger or a few alcoholic beverages over the weekend can be difficult. Whichever your vice, living a healthy lifestyle whilst dealing with the pressures of life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. Awareness is the key. Invariably, the largest causes of ill health are cardiovascular diseases. Each year, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 30% of all deaths globally, or 17.5 million people. 7.6 million from coronary heart disease, 5.7 million from stroke, and others from peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart fever, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary emboli. These diseases can be quite debilitating and cause considerable morbidity costing governments around the world an inordinate amount of money on healthcare services.
It has been estimated that modifiable risk factors contribute to around 80% of coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarettes, alcohol, diabetes, and a poor family history are all risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular illnesses such heart attack and stroke. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, stress, nutrition, and exercise, are all modifiable.
Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle
- Don’t smoke. If you can, stop. If you can’t, then limit the intake
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Be physically active
- Manage your stress
- If you drink alcohol, keep it in moderation
- Take time to consider your health
Conditions affecting the mind can also be just as debilitating as cardiovascular diseases, and represent a significant proportion of morbidity and mortality. Stress and anxiety are two of the most incapacitating conditions that affect a significant number of people. Mental health is considered to be central to all forms of ill health. The way we perceive disease and the effect it has on our mental health is tightly integrated. All illnesses are multifactorial, including an element of mental and psychological health. Mental and general wellbeing are indicators of how we respond to adversities within our lives such as change and illness. It is important to actively look after your mental wellbeing by seeking relaxation activities such as exercise or reading. Nutrition also plays an important role in the way we feel as foods can have substances that can affect mood and brain health.
The heart and the blood vessels, consisting of the arteries, capillaries and veins, are the mode of delivery for oxygen and vital nutrients to the body. The health of our arteries is a powerful indicator of overall health status. Oxidative stress and inflammation are the two biggest challenges for the arteries, as damage to the intima layer may progress into an atheroma. Once this develops it may occlude the artery, as in the case of heart attack and stroke, or it is may dislodge and travel as an emboli to another area of the body and cause occlusion. Early intervention is a necessity, considering that much of cardiovascular disease is preventable.
After careful consideration of various diets around the world, it was found that the Mediterranean diet contained foods that were particularly beneficial for heart health. Typically, the Mediterranean diet consists of fruit, vegetables, legumes, cereals, low consumption of red meat, some red wine with meals, and the use of olive oil as the primary cooking fat. In a large meta-analysis of the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet, it was found that all cause and cardiovascular mortality, lipid metabolism, blood pressure, and endothelial function, all improved . Fish is an important staple in the Mediterranean diet, rich with omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. The recognition of the beneficial effects of omega-3 fats on heart health has caught worldwide attention. Most importantly, DHA and EPA have beneficial effects on reducing blood pressure and atherosclerosis, improving cardiovascular health.
Folic acid has been closely linked with omega-3 fatty acids in the synergistic action of lowering homocysteine. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. In a recent study, it was suggested that levels of homocysteine may be an even better indicator of cardiovascular disease progression than blood pressure and cholesterol . Not only has folic acid been shown to significantly reduce levels of homocysteine  but also lower blood pressure [4, 5]. Calcium is also involved in blood pressure maintenance as well as regulation of vasomotor tone within the arteries and arterioles, important for cardiovascular health. Neurotransmission between the brain and skeletal muscles, and within the muscle of the heart, also require stores of calcium.
We’ve all heard it before, “healthy mind, healthy body”. Is it really true? The power of the mind to be able to influence the immune system, and other body systems, is crucial for physical as well as mental well being. The mind is the control centre for all body processes, and our conscious thought processing can influence the way we feel about our body and how our body functions. Our external as well as our internal environment can significantly influence our mood and the way we think and feel. Most notably, the substances we put into our body may have profound effects on our psychological and mental well being.
Food and nutrition can powerfully influence our minds, as well as our bodies. Sitting at the desk for hours on end or in a classroom can stretch anyone’s concentration span. And we all know that concentration is only a cup of coffee away. This is neither healthy, nor good for your natural energy levels. Coffee can also leave you irritable and uncomfortable. The brain needs carbohydrates to function effectively. Unfortunately, the brain cannot use protein or fat as a source of fuel, therefore a constant supply of carbohydrates is necessary.
Modern research has indicated a variety of other nutrients that are crucial for healthy brain function and well being. Central to every body function is the brain. Supplying the brain with essential nutrients such as omega-3 fish oils DHA and EPA, are important as much of the composition of the brain relies on good fatty acids for effective functioning. Growing in popularity for brain performance, bacopa has shown great clinical benefits for neurological performance such as improvements in concentration and cognitive ability. Healthy brain neurotransmission requires a turnover of essential ions such as calcium and magnesium.
NA Neurocard PLUS:
|Fish oil natural (Tuna)
(equiv. DHA 65mg)
|Fish oil natural
(equiv. EPA 45mg)
(equiv. DHA 30mg)
|Magnesium oxide heavy
(equiv. Magnesium 75mg)
(equiv. calcium 50mg)
|Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi whole plant conc. ext. equiv. to dry)
1-2 capsules taken twice daily or as directed by a health professional.
Caution: Vitamins can only be of assistance if the dietary vitamin intake is inadequate. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.
- Contains DHA and EPA to assist brain, heart and eye health.
- Calcium and Magnesium support cell health and function.
- Brahmi assists with concentration, learning, memory, stress and mild anxiety. Brahmi and Folic Acid are neuroprotective.
- Helps support heart function. May support cardiovascular health in normal healthy individuals.
- May assist blood circulation. Maintain health of capillaries. Helps maintain normal blood/blood tonic.
- Aids, assists or helps in the maintenance or improvement of general well-being.
Ingredients for Heart and Brain Health
Fish Oil (Omega-3 DHA and EPA)
Doctors around the world are increasingly advising their patients to take fish oils. Findings from a number of scientific studies indicate that omega-3 oils protect against the development of conditions such as heart disease, attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), depression, arthritis, colitis and other inflammatory diseases. It has been convincingly shown that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce triglyceride levels in the blood.
The beneficial effects of omega-3 on cardiovascular health have been well documented. One of the main actions of DHA and EPA is the generation of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids such as prostaglandins. As omega-6 fatty acids use the same enzyme for metabolism resulting in pro-inflammatory substances, increasing levels of omega-3 reduces the effects of omega-6. Therefore, the tissues of the body including the heart and arteries are exposed to less inflammatory substances. Inflammation is the primary driver of atherosclerosis, a significant cardiovascular risk factor. Clinically, omega-3 has shown compelling results in a range of cardiovascular health indicators. By improving membrane fluidity and preventing atrial fibrillation, omega-3 is antiarrhythmic. Omega-3 has been shown to be antiatherogenic as it reduces the amount of inflammation present within the arterial walls, inhibiting intimal hyperplasia . By a direct effect on endothelial vasomotor function, omega-3 improves endothelial function , contributing to the antihypertensive effect coupled with its antiatherogenic role. Omega-3 fatty acids significantly improve lipid profile by inhibiting the synthesis of triglycerides and low density lipoprotein within the liver, raising high density lipoprotein levels, and lowering apolipoprotein B-100 levels.
Improving these cardiovascular effects and parameters, improves overall heart health and reduces risks of sudden cardiac death, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events.
Omega-3 is also great for the brain. Research on the health benefits of omega-3 on the brain is rapidly catching that of cardiovascular benefits with some significant findings being made for neural health. The significantly high proportion of DHA and EPA present in the brain and other neural tissues such as the eyes indicate its relative importance to these tissues and organs. DHA incorporates itself into the neuronal cell membrane, increasing its fluidity. This allows the cell to improve its functioning. Neurons have been found to be more dynamic, with receptors, proteins and enzymes being better able to respond to external stimuli. Optimal cell function is obtained through better immune regulation, neuronal differentiation, synaptogenesis, and neurotransmission . Omega-3 has also been shown to improve glucose delivery to the brain by increasing glucose transporters to the endothelial surface on the blood brain barrier. The vasomotor relaxation effect of omega-3 contributes to an increase in perfusion to the brain, along with improved glucose transport.
The effects of omega-3 on the brain have shown clinical correlations such as a mood stabilizing effect on depression, and an enhancement effect on Alzheimer’s disease, memory, learning and concentration.
Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi)
Bacopa has been used traditionally for hundreds of years as a brain tonic for mental performance. Recent scientific evidence has indicated some beneficial mechanisms of action for bacopa on the brain. The effects of bacopa on neurons establish protection from harmful external stimuli. Bacopa has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant in particular areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and striatum . The antioxidant effect in the hippocampus is noteworthy as this area of the brain is involved with memory. By inhibiting cyclooxygenase, bacopa also has anti-inflammatory effects. Pre-clinical studies with bacopa have shown that bacopa may improve memory in animal models . Bacopa has also shown positive effects in animal models of depression .
Clinical trials have shown that bacopa improves cognition, by improving rate of visual processing, learning and memory consolidation . In another study on memory, bacopa improved retention of new information, and decreased the rate of forgetting of new information . The beneficial effects of bacopa on cognition has also been observed in studies involving children . Interestingly, in two studies it was reported that bacopa had a significant anxiolytic effect [12, 15].
Apart from its impact on the central nervous system (improving learning, memory and concentration), studies have shown that bacopa can lower systolic blood pressure, being beneficial to patients suffering from hypertension .
Most known for its effects on bone health and maintenance, calcium is involved in many signaling pathways as well as acting as a co-factor for many enzymes. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and is essential in intracellular metabolism, regulating the heart, arteries, and blood circulation. Studies show that calcium assists in reducing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and the risk of cardiovascular events including heart attacks and strokes. Calcium assists in maintaining normal heart function and arterial health, while improving the level of blood oxygenation, explaining why many individuals report increased energy and metabolism when taking calcium supplements. Neurotransmission in the brain as well as motor neurons to skeletal muscle require calcium for optimal functioning.
Magnesium is an alkaline macromineral with electrolytic properties. Magnesium like calcium, is essential to metabolism and energy production, being a principal intracellular cation. Many heart ailments can occur as a result magnesium deficiency, including calcification, heart tissue and vascular degeneration/necrosis, hypertension and fibrosis. Due to its metabolic role, magnesium is cardioprotective during high stress situations. Magnesium may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events including heart attack and mortality associated with such events. In the brain, magnesium is required for normal neurotransmission.
Possessing neuroprotective properties, folic acid plays an important role in DNA and RNA synthesis, and maintenance of the nervous system. As well as being linked to foetal growth and development during pregnancy, folic acid is essential for the production of red blood cells, and promotes heart health by reducing plasma homocysteine levels. For these reasons, folic acid is essential for heart and brain health.
The ingredients of AB Neurocard are carefully selected from the latest clinical research to be present at doses that best support your child’s health. All the raw materials are sourced from the best available in the world. AB Neurocard is regulated as therapeutic (medicinal) goods in Australia and complies with all the rigid regulations by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), one of the strictest health authorities in the world. It undergoes the Good Manufacturing Process (GMP), from start to finish of production, before released to the market. Post market surveillance requirements ensure that the product is looked after and controlled after it leaves the manufacturing facility.
Bringing it Together
The best way to look after your health is to think for your head and to feel for your heart. The health of your brain and mind has the ability to amplify the health of your body. Mental wellbeing is central to this process, which can be significantly influenced by nutrients now known to benefit your brain such as omega-3 fish oils, bacopa, and essentials minerals. Cardiovascular diseases have a large group of risk factors that are modifiable. Essential nutrients can improve heart and artery health, preventing undesirable downstream complications such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular events. The clinical evidence to date supporting the use of omega-3 and other nutrients within Neurocard for cardiovascular health is extensive.
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