There are many side effects that follow a traumatic brain injury, and it can be difficult to keep up with all of them during the recovery process. The brain needs to heal, reduce inflammation, be stimulated strategically, acquire mental energy and alertness, and more. Otherwise, you might be left feeling anxiety, have brain fog. with sudden mood changes, mentally and physically fatigued, and you might be experiencing a whole range of other symptoms depending on the severity of your injury. If you have a brain injury, you definitely don’t want to be deficient or lacking in any essential vitamins and minerals. Fortunately, there are supplements to help boost this recovery and promote neurological benefits so that you can feel better faster and continue to get back to your usual self.
Supplements For Brain Health
You can get a lot of the the suplements that that are good for your brain by eating a brain healthy diet, otherwise, you can substitute with supplements. Firstly, always make sure you are getting a doctor’s opinion first. Some supplements could adversely affect your process – everyone’s situation is different, so it’s important to consult with your doctor first on what you want to use.
BCAA’s and Protein
Branch chain amino acids (BCAA’S) are the building blocks of protein, and the brain needs both of these compounds for the manufacture of numerous neurological chemical messengers, such as tyrosine. With that said, quality sources of protein is necessary for your brain and body to function. A healthy brain produces hundreds of neurotransmitters needed for regular maintenance of the brain and it needs proteins to do so. Additionally, protein is required for the production of enzymes and hormones and is critical for cell formation and repair, which is crucial after TBI.
After a TBI, the brain is left depleted of magnesium – an important mineral for the body and brain. This can be sourced from your diet, but many people can be deficient, especially those who have recently had a brain injury. Magnesium relays signals between your brain and your body, acting essentially as a gatekeeper for NMDA receptors, which are located on your nerve cells.
These aid brain development, memory, and learning – so you definitely don’t want to be lacking in magnesium. Consult with your doctor to confirm you are able to take magnesium as a supplement.
Zinc is also severely depleted following a traumatic brain injury. Zinc supplementation has shown to positively improve cognitive behavior in TBI victims, as well as TBI-induced depression and anxiety. Zinc was also shown to be effective at preventing impaired spatial learning and memory, both crucial to the recovering of a brain injury.
Creatine is found naturally in muscle cells. It is a substance that encourages your muscles to create energy during high-intensity workouts or heavy lifting. You might have heard of creatine as a powerful supplement for improving gym performance.
Multiple studies show that is can indeed improve overall muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance, but there are many more benefits associated with creatine.
In particular, it can protect against neurological disease, which is why you might find some people using it who have a mental condition or just suffered a brain injury. Just a warning though, cratine will make you gain weight as it retains water in your body.
Fish oil’s positive impact on brain health, and many other factors such as hair and skin, means it’s an excellent way for you to encourage optimal brain health and recovery.
The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil play crucial roles in brain functioning and development. Many people also believe it can significantly improve brain function for those with memory issues. The most important benefit, however. for TBI survivors is researchers claims of it reducing brain inflamation after a TBI,
If you aren’t eating a lot of oily fish in your diet, it may be worth considering taking a fish oil supplement. Remember that the right type of fish oil and the correct dosage is paramount to its success for you.
According to NCBI, “In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is common in patients after TBI and is associated with worse cognitive function and more severe depressive symptoms. ” It is believed that vitamin D may protect the brain against dementia and cognitive decline. Vitamin D is the vitamin produced from exposure to the sun, and it is important to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. With that said, if you were in a hospital for a long time, or do no get adequate sunlight, Vitamin D might benefit you. This is where a supplement may be required, but should also be approved by a treating physician first.
Vitamins B6, B9 (Folate), & B12
B-complex supplements typically pack all eight B vitamins into one convenient pill. This includes B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin).
Here, the most important ones for those with a brain injury are perhaps B6, B9, and B12. B6 involves amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters – extremely important functions for brain health.
B9, or “Folate,” is required for cell growth, amino acid metabolism, the formation of red and white blood cells, and proper cell division.
Finally, B12, the well-known B vitamin, is vital for neurological function, DNA production, and red blood cell development. Be sure you do not lack any B vitamins during your recovery, and talk to your doctor about possible supplementation if you are.
When you just want to get better, you want to take every opportunity you can to get you there quicker. These supplements might be the missing solution you need but always consult with a trusted practitioner prior to starting any.