By Kulani Mahikoa Executive Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.
The luxury of summer fun will soon give way to the more rigid demands of schoolwork when kids head back-to-school. Nutritional supplements that support brain health can help your child’s ability to meet the challenges of learning. Certain supplements can improve focus, attention, memory, and even assuage classroom anxiety. Consider these six supplements to boost your scholar’s brainpower.
ALCAR is a powerful amino acid that can increase both mental and physical energy. This nutrient offers significant antioxidant activity to protect the brain from free radical damage and also promotes the production of glutathione. ALCAR is a precursor of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter of memory and learning.
Studies have shown that ALCAR can increase insulin sensitivity of brain cells to help them utilize blood glucose, the brain’s main fuel source. ALCAR is often used as a brain booster, due to its ability to increase alertness and mitochondrial capacity while providing support for the neurons.
(May interfere with certain prescription medications so consult your physician before using it).
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in black and green teas. It raises levels of several key neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and GABA and can promote learning, recall, and positive mood.
Curcumin, the bioactive compound in the Indian spice, tumeric, has been used for centuries for a variety of health benefits including brain support.
Curcumin protects the brain by increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin and blood flow to the brain. Health benefits include improved memory and attention capabilities.
Ginkgo biloba is one of the world’s oldest living tree species that has been used for centuries in the Orient to support good health.
Kirkman® uses a standardized extract from the leaves of ginkgo biloba, which has been assayed and is guaranteed to contain the marker compounds flavonglycosides (24%) and terpene lactones (6%). Studies have shown that these compounds must be present in order for the product to be effective.
Ginkgo biloba increases circulation to the brain, balances brain chemistry, and protects the brain from free radical damage.
DHA is the major building block of the cerebral cortex which plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition, thought, language and consciousness.
Kirkman® offers Children’s DHA Strawberry Capsules (8833-360) from Nordic Naturals.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid naturally found in high concentrations in the brain. It’s health benefits include boosting memory, cognition, concentration and learning and reducing stress. This nutrient is a major component of human brain cell membranes that help keep toxins and other unwanted invaders out of the brain.
 Nathan, P J, et al. “The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine): a Possible Neuroprotective and Cognitive Enhancing Agent.” Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17182482.