The brain is so complex… and modern medicine still knows so little.
That’s why I’m always excited to see research into the potential influence of nutritional supplementation, diet, and exercise on cognition.
Case in point: A recent study is looking into a mineral that was a BIG PLAYER when I first started in this field.
Of course, like most things natural, it lost its ‘shine’ among conventional medicine.
But researchers are suggesting this all-star supplement could REVERSE the cognitive impact of suffering a stroke, while BOOSTING learning and memory in aging brains.
A powerful combo
We’ve known that exercise can create new neurons in the brain. But many older adults find it difficult to achieve the daily exercise targets that are so crucial to overall health.
So, researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia explored whether daily selenium supplementation—our “all-star supplement”—could replicate the positive effects of exercise on the aging brain.
I should note that this was an animal study, but the results are promising…
Similar to humans, as mice age, the level of new neurons they make decreases rapidly. But with dietary selenium supplementation, researchers observed an increase in neuron generation and improved cognitive function in elderly mice.
Now, previous research found that levels of a protein key to transporting selenium in the blood were elevated by physical activity.
So, don’t trade exercise for selenium supplementation—you should always strive to move regularly. But doincrease your selenium intake—either through food or supplementation. (More on that in a moment.)
In addition, researchers tested whether selenium would have an impact on the cognitive decline sometimes experienced following a stroke. (This often impacts memory and the ability to learn.)
The study author noted how young mice are great at learning and performing memory tasks. But after a stroke, they lose that ability—like humans. Notably, these deficits returned to normal when the mice were given selenium supplements.
Selenium has super powers
At the end of the day, selenium is a trace mineral (absorbed through the soil and water) that you don’t hear much about, but it’s absolutely essential to your health.
In fact, recent findings indicate it’s important for thyroid function and a healthy immune system. And I’ve reported on various studies showcasing selenium’s preventative powers against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
As a dietary supplement, I recommend 200 mcg daily.
But you can also get selenium from food sources, including:
- Beef (grass-fed or finished)
- Brazil nuts
- Eggs (cage-free)
- Lamb (grass-fed or finished)
- Seafood (shrimp or wild-caught tuna, salmon, cod, or halibut)
- Turkey (preferably organic)
- White button mushrooms (preferably organic)
Finally, for additional science-backed ways to help protect your aging brain, I encourage you to check out my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now!
Until next time,
“Natural mineral may reverse memory loss.” The University of Queensland News, 02/08/2022. (uq.edu.au/news/article/2022/02/natural-mineral-may-reverse-memory-loss)