Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Food list to beat the fibromyalgia brain fogs!

Eating healthily is just one way we could help ourselves, coupled by exercises! (That is something that everyone knows right?) However, sometimes we forget what are the goodies for the brain, and I am doing a “revision” here to ensure it would be taken into account in my shopping list.

Bs for the BRAIN!

Bs might spell trouble in your school grade, but it is good for your brain. There is a list of vitamin Bs, and the alternative names for these would be really confusing!

B1 (Thiamine)Thiamine (vitamin B-1) helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.

B6 (Pyridoxine) A study King’s College, London had found that vitamin-B status in patients with CFS is lower than normal subjects, particularly vitamin B6.

“Vitamin B-dependent activities--aspartate aminotransferase (AST) for pyridoxine, glutathione reductase (GTR) for riboflavin, transketolase (TK) for thiamine--were measured in erythrocyte haemolysates before and after in-vitro addition of the relevant vitamin. For all three enzymes basal activity (U/g Hb) was lower in CFS patients than in controls”.

The Wikipedia provides a great write-up on Vitamin B6

B9 (Folic acid): This is the famous vitamin for pregnant women, as it prevents spina bifida in the child. It helps lower blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine that is known to damage brain cells, and increase risk of heart diseases.

B12 (Cyanocobalamin) One of Vitamin B12’s role is in the formation of myelin, the sheaths which covers the nerve cells and plays a role in the transmission of “messages” between the cells. Deficiency could lead to nerve damage, memory loss, low moods, and mental slowness. It had to been drilled into us that this is one of the most common vitamins where people are deficient. Suspects include people who had done some stomach stapling surgeries, vegans (almost exclusively from meat sources!), and guess what, people on long-term acid suppressants for the hyperacidity of the stomach. If you are taking ranitidine, cimetidine, omeprazole etc etc to counteract the stomach trouble the NSAIDs give you, watch out.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an efficient anti-oxidant that mops up free radicals. Most of us have some conditions which had long term on going inflammation. These inflammatory processes generates lots of free radicals, which is suspected to be the reason that people with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions seems to be more prone to heart diseases etc.

Vitamin E

There has always been a debate about the alpha tocopherol and another form called gamma tocopherol. Let those scientist debate all the want, what is certain is vitamin E is good for your brains and your heart, not to mention your skin!! I rather play safe and increase intake of food rich in vitamin E, including almost (the Chinese have always used this for great skin and great brains!), green leafy vegetables, sunflower oil or seeds, hazelnuts, and whole-grain flour. Like vitamin A and C, vitamin E is one of the “ACE” vitamins” which are antioxidants and protect our foggy brains from the attack of free radicals. If some research thinks that it prevents Alzheimer’s disease, surely this would be doing something good for us!


Some of the fibromyalgia symptoms seems so much like magnesium deficiency. Muscle cramps, fatigue, irritability?, etc. This is more like a safety net sort of thing. Although lots have been said about magnesium, I can’t seem to find something that is linked to fibromyalgia’s brain fogs.

For more good information check out NIH’s site on drugs and supplements!

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