"pregnancy brain" is loss of memory
or some sort of cognitive loss
that has not been detected by controlled studies,
yet there is solid indirect evidence.
. pregnancy causes insulin resistance,
and this causes the brain to use less fuel
which then results in less brain function
similar to what happens during Alzheimers.
. other sources of cognitive loss during pregnancy
include problems with sleep, and
having to reduce IQ-raising caffeine.
. magnesium enhances insulin sensitivity
(dark green leafies are the richest source).
. even though fish oil doesn't improve insulin sensitivity
it does enhance memory in some
and there is an FDA-approved form: Lovaza
(undistilled fish normally have too much mercury
for use during pregnancy).
Europe sells prescription R-lipoic acid that may help.
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2014:
. we compare pregnant women in the third trimester
and approximately three months postpartum
with matched controls over the same time period
on neuropsychological domains including memory,
attention, learning, visuospatial, and executive functioning.
We also evaluated the role of mood and quality of life
as potential moderators of cognitive functioning in pregnancy/postpartum.
Results indicated no differences between controls
and pregnant/postpartum women
on neuropsychological measures at any time points.
Self-reported memory difficulties, however,
were higher in the pregnant/postpartum women.
. all the women in his experiment were tested “in ideal circumstances.”
That is, the study controlled for sleep, stress
and other factors that could disproportionately affect
pregnant and postpartum women outside the lab.
Steven Wm. Fowkes:
-- president Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute (CERI):
“The placenta causes a pregnant woman’s tissues to become
insulin resistant, which prevents her tissues from
absorbing and utilizing glucose efficiently”;
this is a cause of collateral memory problems.
sleep disturbances during pregnancy:
. especially during the first and third trimesters
many pregnant women will lose sleep due to
heartburn, nausea, or a constant need to urinate.
caffeine during pregnancy:
if women used less caffeine during pregnancy,
that could reduce cognitive performance;
pregnant women are encouraged to reduce caffeine.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
. pregnant women should limit their caffeine
intake to less than 200 milligrams per day.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology:
In one study it was found that
women who consume 200mg or more of caffeine daily
are twice as likely to have a miscarriage
as those who do not consume any caffeine.
Auriel Willette neuroscience, Iowa state univ:
"insulin resistance affects the brain;
it reduces blood sugar use by the brain
in the same regions affected by alzheimers,
and linked to problems with cognition (memory, learning).
Steven E. Arnold, MD, prof Psychiatry and Neurology:
"Insulin in the brain not only modulates glucose uptake,
but also promotes the health of brain cells
— their growth, survival, remodeling, and normal functioning.
We believe that brain insulin resistance may be
an important contributor to the cognitive decline
associated with Alzheimer's disease."
magnesiumAm J Hypertens. 1997:
. in NIDDM patients [insulin resistant diabetics]
daily magnesium administration, restoring a more
appropriate intracellular magnesium concentration,
contributes to improve insulin-mediated glucose uptake.
Similarly, in HP patients magnesium administration
may be useful in decreasing arterial blood pressure
and improving insulin-mediated glucose uptake.
The benefits deriving from daily magnesium supplementation
in NIDDM and HP patients are further supported by
epidemiological studies showing that high daily magnesium intake
to be predictive of a lower incidence of NIDDM and HP.
Diabetes Care 2005:
Magnesium supplementation or increased intake of
magnesium-rich foods may be an important tool in
the prevention of type 2 diabetes in obese children.
[obesity, like pregnancy, is another source of
. daily oral magnesium supplementation
improved insulin sensitivity by 10%
and reduced blood sugar by 37%.
[Diabetes Care. 2003 Guerrero-Romero
Diabetes Care. 2003 Rodriguez-Moran]
fish oilAlzheimer’s & Dementia 2014, Lori Daiello, Pharm.D:
. fish oil supplement use during the study
was associated with significantly lower rates of
cognitive decline as measured by the
Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog),
and the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE),
but this benefit was observed only for the group of
participants without dementia at the time of enrollment.
“Additionally, serial brain imaging conducted during this study
showed that the participants with normal cognition
who reported taking fish oil supplements
demonstrated less brain shrinkage in key neurological areas,
compared to those who did not use the supplements.
Improved Working Memory ...
after Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation
-- studying FDA-approved (Lovaza, 2 g/day containing
DHA 750 mg/d, EPA 930 mg/d).
adding omega-3 LCPUFAs (DHA 350 mg, and EPA 650 mg)
didn't help cognition of elderly.
lipoic acidJ Diabetes Sci Technol 2010:
R-alpha lipoic acid improves insulin sensitivity.
600mg of controlled-release alpha lipoic acid twice a day
to six non-diabetic women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
[associated with insulin resistance and high insulin]
At the end of 16 weeks, there was a
13.5 percent improvement in insulin sensitivity.
pure lipoic acid is by prescription only:
Life Extension Buyers Club learned a long time ago
that there were few ingredient suppliers who can be trusted
to consistently deliver pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.
Chinese are now inundating supplement makers in the United States
with very low cost materials. The purity of these ingredients
often fails to meet Life Extension’s standards.
For instance, Life Extension was offered a low-cost
alpha lipoic acid ingredient made in China
that assayed out at 95% purity.
The European pharmaceutical standard, however, is 99.99%.
Since alpha lipoic acid is a popular prescription drug in Europe,
Life Extension restricts its purchases of alpha lipoic acid
to European manufacturers. Pharmaceutical-grade ingredients
are more expensive, but provide more of the active ingredient
and are safer for the consumer to use
because they do not contain impurities.
2002-2016 Linus Pauling Institute:
LA is synthesized in mitochondria,
with the insertion of two sulfur atoms into octanoic acid.
. LA may increase glutathione synthesis in aged rats
by increasing the expression of γ-glutamylcysteine ligase (GCL),
the rate-limiting enzyme in glutathione synthesis
[Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004]
and by increasing cellular uptake of cysteine,
an amino acid required for glutathione synthesis
[Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004]
There is limited evidence that 600mg doses of LA can
improve glucose utilization in individuals with
diabetes caused by insulin resistance;
(improved insulin sensitivity by 25% after four weeks)
Data from animal studies suggest that the R-isomer of LA
may be more effective than the S-isomer
in improving insulin sensitivity, but this possibility
has not been tested in any published human trials.
[Diabetes. 1996, Am J Physiol. 1997]
. R-LA was more effective than LA and S-LA
in preventing cataracts (93).
[Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1996]
. the sodium salt of R-LA may be better absorbed than free LA,
presumably because of its higher aqueous solubility.
[Altern Med Rev. 2007]