Important brain nutrients found in animal products

BrainHealthThe human brain is the most complex object in the universe.

It consumes by far the most energy compared to weight than any other part of the body.

It comprises only 2 percent of the body’s weight, yet uses 20 percent of our energy.

And, unknown to many vegans and vegetarians who don’t take appropriate supplements critical for the proper function of the brain’s delicate system, some of the most important brain nutrients are found in animal products!

Here are some of the most important nutrients that vegans and vegetarians who don’t carefully supplement may be deficient in:

Vitamin B12 is the most well known vitamin that the body cannot produce. It is involved in the efficient functioning of every cell in the body.

A deficiency may result in anemia, impaired brain function, symptoms of mental disorders and a smaller brain.

Deficiencies of vitamin B12 are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia in western countries.

Some studies conclude that 90 percent of vegans and 40 percent of lacto-ovo vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B12.

The food sourcse of vitamin B12 are eggs, meat and fish (preferably pasture-raised and from the least contaminated waters).

Most people have never heard of carnosine. It is found in animal tissues, and created out of 2 amino acids highly concentrated in muscle tissue and brains. It is a potent antioxidant used in anti-aging supplements. Very low levels are found in patients with various brain disorders.

Vitamin D3 functions as a steroid hormone in the body.

The most important form of vitamin D is sunlight, but there are 2 limited forms that come in foods—D2 which comes from some plants and D3 that comes from healthy fish and pasture raised animals. D3 is by far the most effective in the body and is best in oily fish and fish oils.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to numerous diseases, including cancers and heart disease.

Creatine is the most popular muscle-building supplement in the world, known by most athletes, including long-distance runners. It is known as the ‘energy currency’ of cells and comes from animal tissues.

The human liver can produce some creatine, but studies have found that this process appears to be inefficient.

Athletes realize that as the muscles  require (creatine) energy to be active, the brain requires the same energy to… think!

And finally, we have docosahexaenoic acid, or the more familiar term ‘DHA.’ Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to the human brain, and the body can’t make it. It is critical for brain development and particularly for pregnant women.

Many vegans and vegetarians supplement with flaxseed oil, which is a great  source of ALA, the plant form of omega-3’s. However, ALA needs to be converted to DHA to work effectively in the body. And the best sources of DHA are fatty fish and grass-fed animals.

Also of interest—some ocean algae produce both ALA and DHA.