Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs all support brain health.*

Neil E. Levin

Brain Support

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on Brain Support

In this interview with Neil E. Levin, we are looking at nutrients that can influence mood, stress, sleep and tension issues. We are also considering nutrients for memory, brain acuity and concentration. In the first podcast interview part 1 on brain health, Neil discussed the importance of DHA, MCT oil, acetylcholine, magnesium and curcumin for brain nutrition.* These may be first line nutrients for brain health but there are many nutrients that support brain function.*

There are often multiple factors occurring at the same time. If you have everyday stress in your life, you may not be sleeping well. If you don’t sleep well, it’s hard to restore your brain and this may affect your mood. This could lead to nervousness. Any of these can affect your quality of life. Memory is a cause of concern for many as we age. Concentration and lack of focus can be problems even for children. So these brain issues can affect us throughout life. When any of these issues have a nutritional component then you have to provide those nutrients either through food or supplements, or usually both. Supplements are the best way to provide higher potency targeted nutrients.

Neil also introduces Cera-Q™. Cera-Q™ is a novel silk protein derivative that helps to support normal brain activities including memory, learning, attention, focus, and can help maintain healthy brain functions in both children and adults.* Cera-Q™ has a unique structure that allows it to easily interact with existing proteins in the brain.* NOW® Brain Attention™ is a cutting-edge cognitive support supplement made with Cera-Q™. This is a chewable supplement that is clinically studied and used with adults and children down to 7 years old. You can read more at the Cera-Q website.

Consumers are often confused simply because there are so many different nutrients that support brain health. It can be difficult process of discovery to develop a nutritional program that works. Your program for brain health should include considerations for diet and lifestyle choices first, as these are foundational to health.

As you consider the various nutrients for brain health here are some principles that will help you be more successful.
Food GridIf you have a medical condition and/or are taking prescription medications consult with your doctor. It is important that you have at least a basic understanding of your condition and the purpose and side effects of any meds you are on. Nutrient/drug interactions should be considered and avoided.
• Try to put together a lifestyle and diet that is beneficial to health and conversely reduce or eliminate negative influences. Neil makes this point strongly in both interviews. Supplements cannot do what you won’t do for yourself.
• Spend some time learning about the wide world of brain support nutrients. Neil discusses many of those nutrients in this series on brain health. The best product is the one that works best for you and choosing the “right” ones is often a process of trial and error.
• Adopt a mindset of discovery. There are many possible solutions for you to try. Be willing to experiment. The more you know, the better choices you will make. Over time better choices will lead to better outcomes. The process involves researching (products, ingredients, company etc.), choosing what to try, taking the products as recommended, being consistent over time and then evaluating your results. Repeat as often as necessary.

Brain Support Nutrients fall into several broad categories and Neil discusses each group.
BrainFats: DHA, MCT oil, phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylcholine.*
• Vitamins: B-6, B-12, Folate and vitamin D.*
• Minerals: Magnesium and Zinc.*
• Amino Acids: L-Theanine, Taurine, Carnitine, GABA, L-Tryptophan and 5HTP, Melatonin, L-Phenylalanine and L-Tyrosine.*
• Herbs: Ginkgo, Curcumin, Holy Basil, huperzine A.*
These are not the only nutrients or herbs which would be useful. So in your search you will discover many possibilities. Combination formulas for brain support, or mood and stress support will provide a variety of ingredients providing a variety of benefits. It is critical to remember that nutrients nourish the brain. A well-nourished brain will function better. Don’t be afraid to try different products. Just make sure you are purchasing products from a reputable manufacturer.

Remember to go back to Nutrition for Your Brain – Part 1, where we discuss the foundational nutrients along with diet and lifestyle choices you should consider.
Click Here for a list of all NOW interviews.
Click Here for a list of our interviews on brain health.
Click Here for a list of our interviews on mood support.

About Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA
Neil E. Levin is the Senior Nutrition Education Manager and a product formulator for NOW®. He is a board-certified clinical nutritionist with a diplomat in advanced nutritional laboratory assessment. The U.S. Natural Products Association (NPA) presented Neil its Industry Champion Award in 2008 for “people who have made notable individual contributions to the natural products industry above and beyond what is expected to achieve commercial success.” Neil’s interviews and articles are published in magazines and newspapers. He has been featured in many radio interviews and television news reports. Neil blogs at; is on Facebook (Honest Nutrition) and Twitter (neilelevin).


Advancements in B-Complex Vitamin Supplementation

Energy Support

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Vitamin B-complex has been one of the most important nutritional supplements for the past 50 years. In some ways it seems that many people don’t fully appreciate the vital role that B-vitamins provide. Even fewer understand that there are various forms of the individual B-vitamins. There are newer forms of many of the B-vitamins that are more effective.

In this interview with Dr. Audrey Ross, ND, we will discuss the importance of B-vitamins in human health. We will also discuss the newer forms of B-vitamins known as Coenzyme B-vitamins. Dr. Ross will also discuss several nutrients that are surprisingly also forms of B-vitamins. This is a good example of making distinctions in the marketplace. Many companies don’t use any of the newer forms of nutrients. Country Life Vitamins uses all 7 of the currently available Coenzyme forms of B-vitamins and was one of the first companies to develop a Coenzyme B-complex supplement.  This is why I wanted to speak with Dr. Ross about the role of B-vitamins and the importance of Coenzyme B-vitamins.

Facts about B-vitamins

  • B-vitamins are essential meaning they must be consumed in the diet or through supplements.
  • B-vitamins come in different forms. Some are the newer biologically active coenzyme forms.
  • B-vitamins are water soluble and do not last long in the body.
  • Modern food processing removes B-complex from some foods especially refined grains.

Role of B-vitamins in human health

  • Necessary for energy production*
  • Necessary for carbohydrate metabolism*.  
  • Provide immune system support*.
  • Provide cardiovascular support*.
  • Provide nervous system support*.
  • Important for hair, skin and nails*.
  • Plays a critical role in the manufacture of serotonin*.

Advanced Coenzyme B-Vitamins

  • B-1 as Benfotiamine. This is the fat soluble form of Vitamin B-1. Benfotiamine provides nerve support*.
  • B-2 as riboflavin 5’ phosphate.
  • B-3 as inositol hexaniacinate and NADH. NADH is a coenzyme form of niacin that supports energy*. NADH plays an important role in the chemical process that generates energy*.  
  • B-6 as Pyridoxine hydrochloride, pyridoxal 5’ Phosphate and alpha-ketoglutarate hydrochloride.
  • B-12 as methylcobalamin.
  • Folate as folic acid and methyltetrahydrofolate.
  • Pyrrologuinoline quinone (PQQ) has been proposed as the next essential B-Vitamin. PQQ has been shown to help increase mitochondria production.*

Country Life Coenzyme B-Complex

  • Country Life was one of the first companies to develop a Coenzyme B-Complex.
  • This product has wonderful advantages to traditional B-Complex supplements.
  • The formula contains 7 coenzymated forms B-vitamins.
  • No unpleasant taste or odor.
  • Can be taken on an empty stomach.  
  • Comes in good-tasting powder form in two flavors. Perfect for smoothies. No added sugar. Contains monk fruit extract.
  • The Advanced Coenzyme B Complex formula includes Benfotiamine, BioPQQ and NADH

As a consumer you have hundreds of choices when it comes to choosing what B-Complex supplement to use. Is it important to you to have manufacturers that follow the latest science and choose the most effective forms of nutrients for their products? For our listeners I’m sure the answer is yes. It is important to understand the distinctions between companies and the products they make. This Coenzyme B-Complex from Country Life is one that stands out in the marketplace.

When you know the difference between the forms of B-vitamins then you can make an informed choice. If you are not sure about what products to try, you can always feel comfortable choosing Country Life. I began using their products back in 1976. This is a company I know well and I am very comfortable recommending them to you.

Dr. Ross discusses the role of B-vitamins for energy. It may be that most people who supplement with B-vitamins are seeking energy support. You can experiment with different products and see what works best for you.

For example you could begin with the basic Coenzyme B-Complex and see how well it suits you. You can use capsules or powder. With powder you can easily adjust the dosage and add to any smoothie or even yogurt or applesauce. This is perfect if you have issues with swallowing capsules.

If you have need of more particular support you can try the Coenzyme B-Complex Advanced. This provides additional innovative biologically active B-vitamins. Personally this would be my favorite.

Beware of some Energy Drinks
A lot of people drink energy drinks. Unfortunately some drinks contain excessive sugar and potentially unwanted and/or unhealthy ingredients. Choose your products carefully. Make sure you understand what you are consuming and how it affects the body. Choose products that help nourish and sustain the body. Avoid products that have preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and/or sweeteners. If a product has those types of ingredients, it is clear that they don’t care about what you put in your body. Avoid those types of products in foods as well.

Beet and B Energizer
Country Life has an energizing food blend powder and you can make your own liquid energy supplement. Beet & B Energizer provides the foundational 8 essential B-vitamins along with beet root powder and beet juice concentrate. It includes coffee fruit extract with naturally occurring caffeine. As prepared, Beet & B-Energizer supports hydration, and includes electrolytes and vitamins plus coconut water.                                                      

Remember that there are other factors that can affect energy levels. If you have persistent challenges see your health care provider. Make sure you have a good understanding of your personal health issues. Then you can nourish your body intelligently.

Dr. Audrey Ross, ND
Dr. Ross works for Country Life Vitamins as an educator. She has a PhD in Naturopathy as well as a degree in Marketing. Dr. Ross ran a naturopathic consulting practice in Texas and worked with medical doctors, providing nutritional consultations for patients. Dr. Ross has a passion for teaching and has conducted seminars on nutrition, weight loss, stress reduction, etc. She co-authored a book on female hormone management in 2000. Her passion and knowledge bridges the divide between allopathic and naturopathic health care.


284 – Build Stronger Bones, Hair, Skin and Nails – My Interview with Peter D. Josling

FacebookLinkedinTwitterGoogle+Print – PDF – Email Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:14 — 75.6MB)Ortho Silicic Acid (OSA) is a clinically studied highly bio-available Silicon  We have known for a long time that silicon is an important mineral for human health. In fact, silicon is the 2nd most abundant element on earth after oxygen. Like […]

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283 – CBD for Stress and Adrenal Health – My Interview with Dr. Aimée Shunney

FacebookLinkedinTwitterGoogle+Print – PDF – Email Play in new window | Download (Duration: 48:45 — 89.6MB)CBD helps patients with stress, anxiety and mood issues. In this interview Dr. Aimée Shunney discusses the benefits of CBD for her patients. Because she deals with patients who are seeking natural and complementary support for their health challenges, Dr. Shunney […]

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282 – Reishi, the Mushroom of Immortality – My Interview with Mark Kaylor

In this interview, Mark Kaylor will explore the centuries old benefits of Reishi mushroom. Mark will also discuss the modern applications of Reishi. There is a great body of science regarding how mushrooms exerts their affects on human health. Those benefits are impressive especially in the field of immunology as well as showing support for the nervous and cardiovascular systems*. Reishi has also been shown to support healthy liver function and is considered a superior tonic*.

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281 – The Power of Dr. Ohhira’s Fermented Probiotics – My Interview with Ross Pelton

We have discussed probiotics many times here on We all now understand that probiotics exert an important and powerful effect on human health. We also understand that humans have been consuming fermented foods for thousands of years. The advent of refrigeration and food processing has resulted in less fermented foods in the diet giving us less beneficial bacteria. One solution to this lack of beneficial probiotic rich foods is to consume probiotic supplements. 

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280 – Are You Confused About Cannabidiol (CBD)? – My Interview with Stuart Tomc

There is a great deal of confusion regarding CBD. There are multiple facets to the discussion around CBD. There are diverse opinions on these multiple facets. There is a great deal of market hype. There are many products in the market place with many different and diverse claims. There are now non-CBD products available to consumers. There are legal and regulatory issues that are unclear as well. So how does one cut through the clutter and bring a little clarity to the subject. That is the task we take on in this interview with Stuart Tomc.

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279 – Achieving Health and Longevity – My Interview with Dr. John Rubinow

In this interview with Dr. John Rubinow, we will explore the basic concepts of health and longevity. These concepts that we discuss may seem self evident to those of us who have explored health and wellness for years. However there are more and more people who desire to embrace a healthier lifestyle. More and more we realize that we must make serious choices about how to live our lives. Dr. Rubinow makes the point that longevity without health is not desirable. It is the quality of life and our health status that are more important that the number of years we live.

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278 – Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthier Heart – My Interview with Jolie Root

In this interview with Jolie Root, we are focusing on is the importance of all the other things that you can and should do that support not only cardiovascular health but also the health of your entire system. Nutrients that are good for the brain and also good for the heart. Nutrients that are good for inflammation are good throughout the body. Exercise benefits the entire body as do most of the good things we can do for ourselves. So the topic we are discussing is what can you do to support health and cardiovascular health in particular.

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277 – Your Endocannabinoid System – My Interview with Jade Beutler

The Healing Power of the Endocannabinoid System  (ECS) – It’s surprising to many that the ECS was only formally recognized in the 1990’s. Since then there have been over 23000 studies published containing the word “cannabinoid”. This is a confusing topic for many. In this interview we are going to give you a great introduction into the ECS. The more you understand the better choices you will make. My guest is Jade Beutler. Jade is the CEO of Emerald Health Bioceuticals. Emerald Health Bioceuticals is a global leader in the research and development of plant-based phytocannabinoids that support the human ECS.

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