Cliff Notes:
  • Large seaweed plant loaded with high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 fats and more which has been shown to improve immunity and even prevent disease.
Brain Effects:
  • Vegetarian source of brain-boosting DHA Omega-3 fatty acids which research has shown to improve memory, a significant amount of magnesium which has been shown to reduce stress, and rich in folic acid which has shown to improve verbal and memory performance.
Life originated on this planet about 3 billion years ago. For the first 2.5 billion years of life there was ample opportunity for DNA modification. Yet there is no evidence of significant change in life forms during that time. It was not until about 600 million years ago, when the oxygen tension rose to a point where air-breathing life forms became thermodynamically possible, that a major change can be abruptly seen in the fossil record. The sudden appearance of the 32 phyla in the Cambrian fossil record was also associated with the appearance of intracellular detail not seen in previous life forms. That detail was provided by cell membranes made with lipids (membrane fats) as structural essentials. Lipids thus played a major, as yet unrecognised, role as determinants in evolution. The compartmentalisation of intracellular, specialist functions as in the nucleus, mitochondria, reticulo-endothelial system and plasma membrane led to cellular specialisation and then speciation. Thus, not only oxygen but also the marine lipids were drivers in the Cambrian explosion. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (all-cis-docosa-4,7,10,13,16,19-hexaenoic acid, C22:6ω3 or C22:6, n-3, DHA) is a major feature of marine lipids. It requires six oxygen atoms to insert its six double bonds, so it would not have been abundant before oxidative metabolism became plentiful. DHA provided the membrane backbone for the emergence of new photoreceptors that converted photons into electricity, laying the foundation for the evolution of other signalling systems, the nervous system and the brain. Hence, the ω3 DHA from the marine food web must have played a critical role in human evolution. There is also clear evidence from molecular biology that DHA is a determinant of neuronal migration, neurogenesis and the expression of several genes involved in brain growth and function. That same process was essential to the ultimate cerebral expansion in human evolution. There is now incontrovertible support of this hypothesis from fossil evidence of human evolution taking advantage of the marine food web. (1)
The role of docosahexaenoic and the marine food web as determinants of evolution and hominid brain development: The challenge for human sustainability. Michael A Crawford, C Leigh Broadhurst
DHA is a key nutritional n-3 PUFA and needs to be supplied by the human diet. DHA is found in significant amounts in the retinal and neuronal cell membranes due to its high fluidity. Indeed, DHA is selectively concentrated in the synaptic and retinal membranes. DHA is deemed to display anti-inflammatory properties and to reduce the risk of CVD. Consumption of larger amounts of DHA appears to reduce the risk of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Conversely, it has been shown that loss of DHA from the nerve cell membrane leads to dysfunction of the central nervous system in the form of anxiety, irritability, susceptibility to stress, dyslexia, impaired memory and cognitive functions, and extended reaction times. DHA plays an important role in ensuring a healthy ageing, by thwarting macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain disorders at the same time as enhancing memory and strengthening neuroprotection in general. A reduced level of DHA is associated with cognitive decline during ageing. Different mechanisms for this fundamental DHA role have been put forward. Namely, neuroprotectin D1, a DHA derivative, may support brain cell survival and repair through neurotrophic, anti-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory signalling. Many of the effects of DHA on the neurological system may be related to signalling connections, thus leading to the study of the related signalolipidomics. Therefore, the present review will focus on the influence of DHA deficiency upon ageing, with specific emphasis upon neurological disorders related to cognitive function and mental health. (2)
Dietary DHA and health: cognitive function aging. Cardoso, Afonso, Bandarra.
Magnesium has a profound effect on neural excitability; the most characteristic signs and symptoms of Mg deficiency are produced by neural and neuromuscular hyperexcitability. These create a constellation of clinical findings termed tetany syndrome (TS). TS symptoms include muscle spasms, cramps and hyperarousal, hyperventilation and asthenia. Physical signs (Chvostek’s, Trousseau’s or von Bonsdorff’s) and abnormalities of the electromyogram or electroencephalogram can usually be elicited. Signs and symptoms of TS are frequently encountered in clinical practice, especially among patients with functional or stress-related disorders. The role of Mg deficit in TS is suggested by relatively low levels of serum or erythrocyte Mg and by the clinical response to oral Mg salts, which has been demonstrated in controlled studies. Among the more serious neurologic sequelae of TS are migraine attacks, transient ischemic attacks, sensorineural hearing loss and convulsions. Mg deficiency may predispose to hyperventilation and may sensitize the cerebral vasculature to the effects of hypocarbia. Mg deficiency increases susceptibility to the physiologic damage produced by stress, and Mg administration has a protective effect; studies on noise stress and noise-induced hearing loss are taken as an example. In addition, the adrenergic effects of psychological stress induce a shift of Mg from the intracellular to the extracellular space, increasing urinary excretion and eventually depleting body stores. Drugs used in neurology and psychiatry may affect Mg levels in blood and may diminish signs of tetany, making assessment of Mg status more difficult. Pharmacologic use of Mg can decrease neurologic deficit in experimental head trauma, possibly by blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. In conjunction with high doses of pyridoxine, Mg salts benefit 40% of patients with autism, possibly by an effect on dopamine metabolism. (3)
Magnesium, stress and neuropsychiatric disorders. Galland.
Occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAo) is among the most common causes of ischemic stroke in humans. Cerebral ischemia leads to brain lesions existing of an irreversibly injured core and an ischemic boundary zone, the penumbra, containing damaged but potentially salvageable tissue. Using a transient occlusion (30 min) of the middle cerebral artery (tMCAo) mouse model in this cross-institutional study we investigated the neurorestorative efficacy of a dietary approach (Fortasyn) comprising docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, uridine, choline, phospholipids, folic acid, vitamins B12, B6, C, and E, and selenium as therapeutic approach to counteract neuroinflammation and impairments of cerebral (structural+functional) connectivity, cerebral blood flow (CBF), and motor function. Male adult C57BL/6j mice were subjected to right tMCAo using the intraluminal filament model. Following tMCAo, animals were either maintained on Control diet or switched to the multicomponent Fortasyn diet. At several time points after tMCAo, behavioral tests, and MRI and PET scanning were conducted to identify the impact of the multicomponent diet on the elicited neuroinflammatory response, loss of cerebral connectivity, and the resulting impairment of motor function after experimental stroke. Mice on the multicomponent diet showed decreased neuroinflammation, improved functional and structural connectivity, beneficial effect on CBF, and also improved motor function after tMCAo. Our present data show that this specific dietary intervention may have beneficial effects on structural and functional recovery and therefore therapeutic potential after ischemic stroke. (4)
A specific dietary intervention to restore brain structure and function after ischemic stroke. Wiesmann, Zinnhardt, Reinhardt, Eligehausen, Wachsmuth, Hermann, Dederen, Hellwich, Kuhlmann, Broersen, Heerschap, Jacobs, Kiliaan.