Top 5 Nutrients That Improve Memory and Mental Performance

The TOP FIVE brain nutrients that every adult should be getting daily.

Dr. Kyl reveals the TOP FIVE brain nutrients that every adult should be getting daily. Research has shown that these premier natural nutrients lead to dramatic memory improvement and enhance mental performance.


Hi. I’m Dr. Kyl Smith, and today’s video is all about showing you brain nutrients that have been proven to improve focus, concentration, mood and memory, mental energy, and mental performance. These nutrients are spotlighted in my book, “Brighter Mind.” If you’re not familiar with the book, the Brighter Mind book has over 1,400 peer-reviewed scientific references to prove that there are foods, nutrients and physical ways to exercise to maximize brain performance for every age group, children, teens, adults, and seniors. Today, we’re focusing on adults. No pun intended, and we’re looking at nutrients to enhance mental performance.

As I get to travel across the country, one of the things I’m most grateful about is doing continuing education lectures for doctors. One of the most common questions doctors ask me during my program and after my program is, “Doc, what nutrients do you take every day?” I’m answering that question right now in this video for you.

These are my five favorite nutrients. I think they’re the most well-researched and proven nutrients in brain science today. I wouldn’t want to go a day without them. If I travel, if I go on vacation, I always remember these guys. They’re premier brain nutrients, and I wouldn’t want to go a day without.

(1) Acetyl L-Carnitine

The first one, the one at the very top of my list, is called acetyl l-carnitine. This is a really incredible nutrient because it has multi benefits as you’re about to see. Number One, acetyl l-carnitine naturally occurs throughout the human brain, central nervous system and spinal cord, motor nerves, and skeletal muscles, so it’s a natural ingredient that’s already an ortho-molecule. It’s part of your human body. It’s part of your brain.

It’s a potent neuro-protector. That means it protects brain cells from oxidative damage and, by the day, oxidative damage is the Number One theory of aging for brain cells and every cell throughout your body. The idea of protecting the brain from oxidation is incredible as an anti-aging strategy. In addition, it has strong intrinsic anti-oxidant properties, meaning it’s an anti-oxidant itself, and it stimulates synthesis in natural endogenous anti-oxidants. Specifically, it helps improve the synthesis of glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

Now, it’s worthy of pausing right here. These are your body’s two major endogenous anti-oxidants, and it makes itself. Anti-aging has a lot to do with your ability to make copious amounts of these anti-oxidants on a daily basis to protect your brain, body, and liver from oxidative damage.

There are products on health food store shelves right now across the country and on the Internet that cost around $34, $44 a month to boost glutathione and superoxide dismutase, and I’m telling you, you don’t need them. This one nutrient, acetyl l-carnitine, will help your brain produce more of these precious two anti-oxidants.

In addition, you’ll see that there are multiple substantiated benefits behind acetyl l-carnitine. Take a look at our first bullet: It states that, “Acetyl l-carnitine possesses strong anti-oxidant properties. Acetyl l-carnitine is a powerful brain anti-oxidant, and acetyl l-carnitine acts as a neuro-protector.” Those are our first three bullets.

The fourth bullet states that, “Acetyl l-carnitine facilities mitochondrial energy production. Let me pause right there, because this is important. You probably remember from your high school or college bio chemistry or biology class that every cell in the body has these organelles called “mitochondria,” and a healthy brain cell has hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of these mitochondria. Mitochondria build ATP, adenosine triphosphate.

In this case, I’m sharing with you that acetyl l-carnitine facilitates the energy production of ATP within these mitochondria. What’s that mean? It means when you take this ingredient, it ramps up mental energy in your brain, and you feel it. This is one of those experiential ingredients, and when you take it, you feel more energized, more juiced. You feel more – Forgive me, but magnetic. You feel like you’re having a great day because your neurons’ ability to produce ATP or energy goes up, and with that energy, your neurons do wonderful things like produce neuro transmitters.

Now, our next bullet states that, “Acetyl l-carnitine enhances human cognitive functioning.” The next bullet states that acetyl l-carnitine enhances the formation of short-term memory, and acetyl l-carnitine enhances a consolidation of long-term memory. So, I tell doctors, “This is a nutrient that helps your memory to work.”

On the next slide, you’ll see that acetyl l-carnitine enhances the ability to create new memories. Acetyl l-carnitine enhances the ability to retrieve memories. It enhances the ability to perform executive functions. That means acetyl l-carnitine helps you make decisions better, faster, quicker, more accurately. In addition, acetyl l-carnitine enhances the ability to learn. It enhances the ability to recall information. It enhances the ability to concentrate, and acetyl l-carnitine enhances the ability to reason and solve problems.

I think you can see why this is my Number One favorite brain nutrient. I wouldn’t want to go a day without it. Not only does it protect brain cells. It’s a neuro protector. It enhances brain function from now and for the long term. This is an absolutely phenomenal ingredient for you to add to your daily diet to help enhance and support brain performance.

(2) EGCG – Epigallocatechin Gallate (Green Tea)

One of my next favorite ingredients is green tea. You’ll see that green tea is a potent brain cell protector, much like acetyl l-carnitine but in a different vein. For example, the polyphenols in green tea, specifically, epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. This exhibits a powerful ability to protect brain cells from free radical activity. Free radical activity is another way to talk about oxidative damage. This protects the brain or neurons in the brain from oxidative damage.

Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, is a broad-spectrum effective anti-oxidant that easily crosses the blood/brain barrier. It’s 25 to 100 times more potent that vitamin C and vitamin E, so this is a powerhouse premier brain nutrient. Just one cup of green tea has the anti-oxidant effects that are greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries and, in addition, in parts of the world where green tea is consumed on a regular basis, incidents of cancer, heart disease and dementia are significantly lower. This ingredient, epigallocatechin gallate, and the polyphenols in green tea are good for the brain, and they’re good for the body. This is another potent neuro protector I recommend you add to your diet on a daily basis.

Let me share with you on the next slide a bit of controversy if you’re not familiar with the science. If you’ve been watching television, listening to the radio, you may think caffeine “is bad for you,” but keep in mind, to be fair, when the newscasts come out saying caffeine is dangerous or bad for you, they’re generally looking at energy drinks in teen-aged or college-aged students that consumed a six-pack in a sitting or something crazy like that.

We’re talking green tea here and coffee consumption, natural caffeine. The science shows, today caffeine is extraordinarily beneficial for brain cells. Very, very important you know this. In the last five years, references have come out to tell us that caffeine itself is neuro-protective. As a matter of fact, it reduces oxidative stress as an effective scavenger of singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals. Singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals are two types of free radicals that wreak havoc on brain cells and again, caffeine is a neuro-protector protecting your brain from this kind of oxidative damage.

In addition, caffeine increases blood flow through the middle and anterior cerebral arteries. In addition, caffeine increases the functioning efficiency of neuronal networks in the human cerebral cortex. In addition, caffeine increases neuronal activity in brain regions associates with attention.

Here’s a quote directly from this particular peer-reviewed article that’s up on your screen right now: “Such increases in mental energy can produce increases in the functional capacity to engage in cognitively demanding tasks that can be expressed as increased vigilance, alertness, ability to concentrate and ability to correctly choose among alternatives.

On the next slide, I have two more quotes from the same journal article I want you to see. “Cognitive functions including the ability to concentrate and to solve problems are enhanced after caffeine consumption.” For example, the findings of two perspective observational studies indicated that the habitual daily consumption of any caffeine decreased significantly the risk for cognitive failures. In other words, forgetting where you put things, loss of concentration, making the wrong choice.

Another quote from this paper, “In many placebo-controlled studies, placebo was ineffective whereas the acute consumption of caffeine produced significant improvements in reaction time, accuracy of responses, ability to focus, attention, working short-term memory, sentence verification accuracy, ability to solve different problems requiring reasoning, mental fatigue, vigor and alertness.”

Here’s the reality: I don’t believe today man has the ability to extract caffeine from green tea and not wash a whole bunch of other valuable components like polyphenols down the drain. Think of it: If we’re going to decaffeinate green tea with something natural like water, we’re washing all kinds of polyphenols down the drain. Mother Nature made green tea with caffeine. I believe we leave the caffeine in the green tea, so I recommend to doctors across the country when I do lectures that you consume a natural caffeinated source of green tea on a daily basis. We know there are benefits to caffeine. We know there are benefits also to the epigallocatechin gallate and polyphenols that come in the natural package with green tea.

Now, I want to answer a question. Is caffeine safe? The reality is, according to the peer-reviewed research literature, if you’re looking at green tea, tea, and coffee, natural sources of caffeine, moderate intakes of caffeine pose no health risks. That’s a quote right out of this peer-reviewed research article again. The very interesting thing about caffeine is not only does it seem to be incredibly beneficial for brain cells, it’s beneficial for your body as well. Take a look at this:

The findings of the Leisure World Cohort Study; more than 8,000 elderly women and more than 4,000 elderly men were studied for 23 years. This indicated that the daily consumption of caffeine significantly decreased by 10% the risk of dying from any cause. In addition, data from more than 27,000 post-menopausal women observed for 15 years during the Iowa Women’s Health Study demonstrated that any amount of habitually-consumed caffeinated coffee decreased the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 15% to 25%.

In addition to that, we have a study of over 4,000 women and over 2,000 men 65 years and older that indicated that the routine daily consumption of caffeine attenuated or reduced the severity of the age-associated declines in verbal retrieval and visio-spacial memory. In addition, a 21-year study of initially middle-aged men and women, the Cardiovascular Risk Factors Aging Dementia Study found those subjects routinely consuming caffeine showed a significantly lower incidence of clinical dementia.

Now, take a look at this: In 2009, a Swedish study showed a 65% decreased risk of dementia of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals consuming caffeine, and that was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and then the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease was found to be inversely proportional to routine caffeine intakes.

Let me share with you exactly what that mean: The consumption of caffeine, the higher the levels decrease the risk of Parkinson’s disease. That’s the inversely proportional part. Higher consumption of caffeine protected the brain from Parkinson’s by decreasing the risk of Parkinson’s disease in those individuals.

(3) L-Theanine (Green Tea)

Now, another one of my favorite ingredients that comes from green tea is l-theanine. It’s a non-protein amino acid that’s found exclusively in green tea with numerous health-promoting benefits. Traditional use: Enhances relaxation and improves concentration and learning ability. Science shows l-theanine protects brain cells against excitotoxicity, calming the nerve networks in the brain.

Now, let me pause on excitotoxicity. This is a huge issue today. When you go out to eat at a chain restaurant or a fast food restaurant or you eat packaged food from the grocery store or canned food like canned soups, it’s very likely you consume monosodium glutamate. They usually put that in code on the nutrition facts panel or the ingredients panel as “natural flavors” or “natural flavoring.”

The reality is monosodium glutamate is an excitatory neurotoxin, and what that means is it excites brain cells to death, and here’s the good part: When l-theanine is present in your circulation when you consume monosodium glutamate by accident, let’s say, it protects those brain cells from excitotoxicity, so this is a brain-protecting ingredient that’s outrageously important today when you live in modern society like you and I do, and you eat in restaurants all the time, and you really don’t know what they flavored your food with when it tastes so crazy fantastic.

In addition, several studies have now shown that l-theanine substantially augments the known attention-focusing effects of caffeine. Take a look: As an example, adding l-theanine to caffeine leads to improved accuracy and speed of information processing, less susceptibility to distraction, improved switching between tasks and less mental fatigue while improving reaction time and reducing physical symptoms such as tiredness.

I think you can see the picture that I’m painting so far. Combining these nutrients as your consumption regimen on a daily basis for brain support and brain improvement is a phenomenal idea. You can see that acetyl l-carnitine wonderfully works with green tea, and green tea wonderfully works with the caffeine and the polyphenols and the l-theanine present in green tea.

(4) DMAE – Dimethylaminoethanol

In addition, another ingredient I would never want to go a day without is dimethylaminoethanol, DMAE. Now, it’s a long, fancy name, but the reality is, this is another neurotransmitter precursor to acetylcholine, just like acetyl l-carnitine. It’s normally found within the brain, and in the case of DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, there are multiple food sources like anchovies, sardines, squid, and wild Alaskan salmon. Not exactly normal staples in our diet today.

It’s a neuro-protective ingredient, much like acetyl l-carnitine. It’s a potent, inter-membrane scavenger of hydroxyl radicals. So again, this is an ingredient that slows brain aging by protecting the brain from oxidative stress. In addition, feelings of mental fatigue have been reduced by consuming dimethylaminoethanol, and memory, recall, attention span, and the ability to concentrate have improved significantly in adults supplemented with dimethylaminoethanol.

(5) Rhodiola Rosea

Finally, my fifth ingredient that I love and wouldn’t really want to go a day without is rhodiola rosea. This is a premier brain-boosting herb. Small dose of rhodiola rosea increase the bio-electrical activity of the brain. It enhances the actions of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, and here’s a quote from this particular journal article: “Consequently, the cognitive functions of the cerebral cortex in the attention, memory, learning functions of the pre-frontal and frontal cortex are enhanced.” Here’s another quote from another journal article: “The anti-fatigue effect of rhodiola rosea enhances mental performance, especially the ability to concentrate.

There are so many studies behind this nutrient. I had to pick which one I wanted to share with you because I want to try to keep this video as short as possible. Here’s one study that I found impressive, and I think that you will, too. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of young healthy physicians on night duty, researchers evaluated rhodiola’s affect on five different measure of mental acuity: Associative thinking, short-term memory, calculation, concentration, speed of audio visual perception. The researchers found statistically significant improvements in all five of these mental performance parameters in the physicians who took rhodiola for just two weeks.

Rhodiola also has proven benefits for stress-related fatigue, depression and anxiety. Take a look at this. Studies show rhodiola administration resulted in significant improvements in patients with stress-related fatigue in a score incorporating physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. For depression, rhodiola significantly improved the symptoms of depression in terms of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and the Beck Depression Inventory compared with placebo. With regards to anxiety, individuals treated with rhodiola extract showed significant decreases in anxiety as measured by scores on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale.


In summary, what are my five favorite brain nutrients? First of all, there’s acetyl l-carnitine for all the benefits you’ve seen in this video. I wouldn’t want to go a day without this incredible ingredient.

In addition, there’s green tea with polyphenols, EGCG, epigallocatechin gallate as well as caffeine. Do not consume a decaffeinated version of caffeine when Mother Nature put the caffeine in there, and we know it’s brain beneficial. In addition, think of the wisdom of combining caffeine with l-theanine that’s in green tea. We know the combination of those two will work wonderfully synergistically together, amplifying the positive effects of caffeine on brain function.

In addition, there’s dimethylaminoethanol. A long word: DMAE. This is another ingredient I wouldn’t want to go a day without because of its anti-oxidative effects on brain function as well as being a precursor to acetylcholine, which is that neurotransmitter that works with focus, concentration and memory.

Finally, rhodiola rosea, a wonderful, adaptogenic herb that’s been shown to be good for both brain and body, but for brain, it boosts serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, other neurotransmitters. It is a wonderful brain-healthy ingredient.

I combine all five of these ingredients on a daily basis and together, there are certain synergistic effects between these ingredients.

If you would, consider sharing this video with someone that’s really close to you. I want you to try consuming these five ingredients yourself and consider sharing this information with someone that’s really close to you because it can make a world of difference in another individual’s life. For somebody who’s fatigued and tired or notices that their memory’s not what it used to be, these ingredients, either alone or in combination, from my experience, work wonders. Share this information with someone you love today.

Thank you for taking the time to watch this video. I’m Dr. Kyl Smith, and you can always find me at this website.

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