May 15, 2020
Every supplement has a specific set of benefits to offer — some are used to improve focus and concentration others to boost energy levels.
If you want to get even more out of your supplement regimen, do what the experts are doing and combine multiple complementary ingredients together.
Through a concept called synergy, combining a few targeted supplements together provides greater overall benefit than either compound on its own.
In this article, we’ll review 5 of the best supplement combinations you can take and why it’s better to take them together.
Let’s jump straight in.
The main benefit of this combination is the formation of new synapses in the brain. A synapse is a connection between two nerve cells which is critical in the transmission of information inside and outside the central nervous system.
For example, whenever you move your muscles, nerve signals travel across several synapses before it reaches your muscle.
Supporting synapse growth has been linked to better memory, better focus, faster recovery from injury, and slower age-related degeneration of the nervous system.
Uridine monophosphate is a combination of two molecules — uridine and phosphate. The phosphate group has two purposes — it helps the uridine enter the cell and releases phosphates which are important building blocks needed to produce new nerve cells.
The uridine portion is the most important in this respect as it serves as a building block for RNA inside the cells and stimulates something called P2Y2 which is involved with stimulating the production of synapses.
Citicoline is also made up of two compounds that break apart once inside the cells. The first component is cytidine — which is a precursor for making more uridine as well as a handful of other helpful compounds.
The second group in the citicoline molecule is choline. Choline is combined with phosphates obtained from uridine monophosphate to produce phospholipids — which serve as one of the primary building blocks for nerve cells and synapses. There have been numerous studies on the use of phospholipids for promoting nerve growth and cognitive function.
Resveratrol and pterostilbene are both potent antioxidants found in dark-coloured berries and fruits.
Resveratrol is primarily found in grapes, while pterostilbene is mainly found in blueberries.
Both of these supplements work as a strong antioxidant — protecting the cardiovascular system and other sensitive organs protected against harmful free radicals picked up in our environment.
Both compounds also target several pathways related to ageing — giving them longevity-enhancing benefits.
The reason this combination is so good together as opposed to taking them individually is that both compounds work through slightly different mechanisms when it comes to slowing the ageing process. All of these pathways are extremely complex and rely on numerous other factors, but the important thing to be aware of is that both resveratrol and pterostilbene work via different underlying mechanisms when it comes to ageing.
The combination of both supplements provides broader anti-ageing benefits overall.
Comparing the longevity-promoting pathways from resveratrol and pterostilbene:
Inflammation is a complex process involving hundreds of individual messenger molecules, enzymes, and immune cells.
Fortunately, there are a few rate-limiting factors involved with the inflammatory process we can target reduce inflammation. These rate-limiting factors are enzymes known as 5-LOX and COX.
Both of these enzymes are key regulators in the inflammatory response because they’re responsible for converting inactive precursor chemicals into inflammatory triggers.
By inhibiting these enzymes we can effectively slow down, or stop the inflammatory process.
Most anti-inflammatories target the COX pathway — which is also the main mechanism behind the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. This effect is very reliable, and turmeric is revered as one of the best herbal anti-inflammatories available in the natural world. Even some pharmaceuticals (such as Apsirin) use the COX pathway to put a halt on inflammation.
However, this isn’t the whole picture. 5 LOX (and other related lipoxygenase enzymes) also contribute to the inflammatory picture. Some specific forms of inflammation have a heavier involvement on 5 LOX for driving inflammation as well — such as low-grade inflammation in arthritis.
Turmeric and other COX-inhibitors will do very little for slowing inflammatory markers produced by the LOX pathway.
This is where boswellia comes in. This herb is also revered as being one of the best anti-inflammatory herbs available — but this one works primarily through the 5 LOX pathway instead of COX.
Combining boswellia and turmeric supplements gives you much greater anti-inflammatory coverage than either two supplements on their own.
Rhodiola and ashwagandha are two common adaptogenic herbs used to improve energy levels, increase the ability to resist and adapt to stress, and boost immune function.
While both supplements offer exceptional adaptogenic support on their own — a combination is of the two is even greater — here’s why;
Rhodiola primarily targets the hypothalamus in the brain. This is the region that regulates homeostasis (balance) all around the body. The hypothalamus detects changes in body temperature and chemistry and signals to various organs to either upregulate or downregulate processes so we remain in balance. The reason why this is so helpful for improving our stress-resistance is that stress, by definition, causes a shift away from this balance.
A healthy hypothalamus works a lot like cruise-control — when we hit a hill and the car starts to slow down, cruise control responds by increasing the throttle to maintain our speed. All of this happens seamlessly without you even noticing what changes are being made.
Ashwagandha has very similar benefits to rhodiola, but works through a completely different mechanism. Instead of targeting the hypothalamus, ashwagandha works on the adrenal glands — which is where our stress hormone, cortisol, is manufactured.
When we’re chronically stressed our adrenal glands may start to “burn-out” over time. This can lead to either too much cortisol in the blood or not enough. The end result is a reduced ability to resist or respond to stress. Ashwagandha (especially the standardized KSM-66 version) works to tone the adrenal glands and helps them recover or resist burnout.
The combination of rhodiola and ashwagandha is very popular in the natural health community. It allows you to target and support your ability to resist and adapt to stress via the brain (hypothalamus), and adrenal glands together.
Lion’s mane is a medicinal mushroom with a lot to offer from a health perspective.
Compounds within the mushroom fruiting body have been reported to promote the repair and regeneration of nerve cells, boost immunity, support mood, and improve various cognitive functions including memory, hand-eye coordination, and concentration.
Boron (coming soon!) is a popular supplement to take alongside lion’s mane because of its involvement with all of these different pathways and mechanisms.
Lion’s mane is used to push the pathway and make these improvements, but trace minerals like boron are needed to carry them out to completion.
If you’re taking lion’s mane for any reason, it’s also a good idea to consider using boron alongside it to make sure you’re getting as much as you can from it.
There are a lot of reasons why you may choose to use health supplements. Students supplement to improve memory and concentration, older generations use vitamins and herbal extracts to slow the natural side effects of ageing. Others may supplement simply to maintain optimal health for years to come.
No matter what your motivation for using supplements may be, combining them with other complementary products is a great way to get even more benefit.
We’ve discussed just 5 common supplement combinations to consider, but the possibilities of nutritional and herbal supplement combinations are endless.
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How can so many people have deficiencies in such a common element?
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Now that we’ve got a fresh new year (and decade), it’s a good time to discuss the upcoming trends in the industry that will no doubt be contributing to the overall growth of the supplement industry.
So what are the supplement trends expected for 2020?
In this article, we’ll cover the current trends, and new trends expected to happen this year...