Spirituality & Health spoke with Dr. Kavita Desai, Pharmacist & Founder of Revivele, to get her thoughts on the best uses of supplements for brain health.
For women of any age, what are the greatest threats to brain health?
It is a well established fact that as women, we are at greater risk of developing numerous chronic diseases, especially those affecting our brain health, mental health, and cognition. Some of the greatest threats to maintaining our brain health are stress levels, poor diet (namely consuming too many inflammatory foods such as pre-packaged foods or processed and refined foods and sugars), poor sleep, and lack of activity. As we age, changes in our hormonal balance also can contribute to a decline in our mental and cognitive wellness.
Are women who are experiencing hormonal imbalance during perimenopause especially at risk?
Yes, absolutely. Decreasing levels of our female hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) cause symptoms that directly affect our long term brain health. Poor sleep is a known risk factor for cognitive decline, and hormonal fluctuations are known to cause night sweats and disrupted sleep patterns in perimenopausal women. During perimenopause, we also experience a heightened sense of anxiety, and many women feel depressed, which leads to an ongoing cycle of increased stress. Our bodies also lose the ability to manage blood glucose effectively which can lead to glucose intolerance or possibly even type 2 diabetes, which is yet another risk factor for dementia.
Brain health supplements are designed to tackle our nutrition deficiencies: Can they also impact poor mental health and depression?
High quality brain health supplements should not only address nutritional deficiencies, but also address inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural defense to harm such as bacteria, viruses, and infection. However, when this process lingers longer than usual, it is called chronic inflammation and can lead to an increased risk of disease. By reducing inflammation, not only does the risk of disease reduce, but the body and brain can actually function optimally. Many of the same herbs, vitamins, and minerals contained in brain health supplements are known to address mental health such as anxiety and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B vitamins, magnesium, and rhodiola are all excellent examples of ingredients that not only boost brain health, but make a significant impact on mental wellness, as well.
Nootropic capsules with ingredients like Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Bacopa Monnieri have been gaining popularity through sites like TikTok. How beneficial can these nootropics be?
Nootropics are substances shown to enhance cognition and brain function. While we don’t have significant data on the long term benefits of nootropics, we do know that in the short term, they are showing amazing benefits for not only cognitive function, but also mood, focus, energy levels, and motivation.
For individuals grappling with symptoms of long COVID such as brain fog, can brain health supplements provide a natural remedy?
A great deal of what we now know in approaching long COVID has been borrowed from our knowledge in treating conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We are still trying to figure out not only how to prevent long COVID symptoms, but also how to effectively treat them. However, there are numerous supplements that might be helpful in relieving some of the symptoms and helping to resume normal function. The key is to target inflammation, as COVID is an extremely inflammatory disease, and also boost immune function, and reduce fatigue and brain fog. Omega-3 fish oils, vitamin D, quercetin, B vitamins, CoQ10, and vitamin C can all help, along with a healthy diet that eliminates processed foods and sugars, reduces alcohol intake, and increases the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.
The brain health supplement market is projected to reach $15.5 billion by 2030. What do you think accounts for this?
The WHO released statistics that are incredibly grave. It is estimated that approximately 55 million people worldwide have dementia currently, with that number estimated to grow to over 139 million by 2050. We do not have a cure for dementia, and in the case of Alzheimer’s (which is the most common form of dementia), we do not even know what truly causes it. What we do know, however, is that by making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes to protect our brain, we just might be able to reduce our risk.
Many people are affected by dementia, whether they have a loved one who has been diagnosed or have friends with family members affected. It is unusual these days to meet anyone who has not had anyone they know touched by dementia or another neurodegenerative disease. The American Brain Foundation estimates that 1 in 6 people worldwide suffer from some form of brain disease, ranging from multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s to stroke and Alzheimer’s. So, it makes perfect sense that we, as a community, are concerned and are interested in education relating to reducing our risk and in investing in supplements that may help us protect our brains.
What are some upcoming supplements from your company, Revivele?
We are currently developing a comprehensive women’s health supplement line called Essentials by Revivele. The product line will be available as a monthly system with 40 different herbs, vitamins, minerals, and functional mushrooms formulated into the fewest tablets, capsules, and gummies the industry has ever seen. The system is easy to use and extremely convenient to follow in beautiful packaging that every woman deserves. The products are dosed to not only balance nutritional gaps, but are also based on research to address all of the symptoms women experience during perimenopause, which are also risk factors for numerous long term diseases.
Learn more about developing better brain health here.