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 confused, dizzy, 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
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.
Common supplements taken by many people who have had a TBI include:
Naturally, you want to find the best supplements that will enable you to recover faster. However, the supplements that work for you specifically will vary, and some might not benefit you at all as your unique circumstances requires specific needs. With that said, The list below is a good place to start and if you find something that interests you, click on the link to read about it in detail.
One way the body combats oxidative stress is with antioxidants. Numerous studies support eating an antioxidant rich diet for brain health. Read this article to learn how antioxidants could potentially help your brain after TBI.
CBD is meant to relax you, which means it can possibly help with anxiety, and because everything can be particularly overwhelming following a Traumatic Brain Injury, it’s quite possibly the perfect solution. With that said, CBD can potentially help with TBI side effects; there’s no doubt about it. It is important important to remember, however, that everyone’s body and mind experience things differently, and benefits may not be felt as initially expected.
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.
Creatine can protect against neurological disease, which is why you might find some people using it who have a neurological condition or just suffered a brain injury. With that said, creatine provides neurological energy, which the brain needs to repair itself after injury, and it provides the body with the extra fuel it needs to recover after a traumatic injury. While creatine might be beneficial for the brain, this nutrient also causes weight gain and bloating, so be careful.
According to NCBI, “The neuroprotective actions of dietary flavonoids involve a number of effects within the brain, including a potential to protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, an ability to suppress neuroinflammation, and the potential to promote memory, learning and cognitive function.” Because flavonoids help improve blood flow, they also create an indirect benefit for the brain, as cardiovascular systems such as hardening of the arteries can cause stroke.
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.
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 – does that sound like you? 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.
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.
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are another form of fat that can aid the healing brain. MCTs have actually been used clinically for quite a while now but only in the last few years have become a more mainstream supplement. So here’s what we know: MCTs are an excellent source of energy for your brain – there small size relative to other fats makes them easier to metabolize.
Phosphorus is vital for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all body tissues, including your brain. TBI causes a depletion of the nutrients that are stored in the body, phosphorus could be one of them. One noticeable side-effect of phosphorus deficiency is brain fog, could this be somehow correlated with the common brain fog as a result of TBI?
Melatonin, which you may know as the sleep hormone, can protect your brain. Some research indicates that melatonin can help keep brain cells from dying. Melatonin is an antioxidant, it sucks up free radicals, and can help reduce inflammation of neurons, which can keep your brain healthy.
The power that gut health has on the brain is significant, much more than most people would think. To support this theory, many scientists have undertaken studies that lead them to believe just how much of an impact it has. One thing that makes a difference is the use of probiotics. In this article, you can learn the benefits of probiotics for Traumatic Brain Injury as well as the impact of gut health on your brain.
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. Vitamin D also helps to absorb calcium, which, in turn, assists the formation and maintenance of strong, healthy bones. As people age or people who have had a brain injury struggle to synthesize and absorb vitamin D. This is where a supplement may be required, but should also be approved by a treating physician first.
NCBI says, ‘The studies discussed here indicate the continued importance of vitamin A as a nutrient for the brain not only during embryonic development but also during adulthood.’ Vitamin A, also an antioxidant, helps protect the brain cells from harmful free radicals and keeps the blood flowing to the brain to the best of its ability. Additionally, vitamin A is essential to and learning and it promotes healthy brain cells and tissues as well.
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.