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Boosting Brain Health: The 10 Best Supplements for Stroke Recovery

In this article, we'll talk about the best brain supplements for stroke recovery. We'll focus on the top brain supplements that are proven to reduce brain inflammation, improve sleep, and promote the growth of new nerve cells. These supplements create an environment that supports neuroplasticity, which is essential for the brain's healing and recovery. (this post contains affiliates)


Check with your doctor before beginning any of these supplements to ensure it doesn’t contraindicate with your medications.

Here are the Best Brain Supplements for Stroke Recovery


Brain Inflammation

Following a stroke, the brain undergoes many changes. The lack of blood flow can cause brain cells to die, leading to various effects. Chronic inflammation, brought about by oxidative stress and excitotoxicity, can result in loss of motor abilities, cognitive impairments, and depression. Although acute inflammation is essential for removing dead cells and replacing them with living cells, chronic inflammation inhibits the growth of new nerve cells. This can severely impede stroke survivors' recovery as their brain remains chronically inflamed. Unhealthy behaviors such as poor diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption can contribute to oxidative stress and chronic brain inflammation, limiting neurogenesis and the growth and reorganization of brain cells.


There are some supplements to help with this mobilization of cells to clean up the inflammation and help re-establish healthy cells.


Supplements to decrease brain inflammation.

1. Resveratrol Xtra (1 cap 2x/day)


This supplement has undergone extensive research and is a natural antioxidant found in red wine. It acts to prevent secondary damage following a stroke by regulating inflammation and reducing oxidative stress. (17)


2. Meriva Curcumin (1 cap 2x/day)



This supplement has turmeric curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that shields against cell death and has therapeutic benefits for those with stroke. (22) As curcumin is an anticoagulant, it's best to consult with your doctor before taking it, particularly if you're already on one.


3). CogniMag 120 (1 cap twice a day)


This supplement is formulated with Magnesium-l-threonate and a blend of antioxidants derived from blueberries, strawberries, and spinach. Research has shown that taking 2g of magnesium-l-threonate per day for 30 days can enhance memory and lower the risk of stroke. (18, 19)


4. CBD (0.25-.05mg per pound of body weight 1-2x/day) (9)


CBD oil for best brain supplements for optimizing stroke recovery

There has been extensive research on the benefits of CBD oil for stroke survivors, including pain reduction, increased blood flow, and decreased spasticity. Although these benefits are still being fully explored, more conclusive research has shown that CBD can help stroke survivors reduce inflammation in the brain and stimulate the production of specific brain cells that enhance neurogenesis. It's worth noting that the CBD oil mentioned here does not contain THC, so there's no risk of experiencing a "high." However, it's important to consult with your doctor before taking CBD oil to ensure that it won't negatively interact with any medications you're currently taking. (8)


To effectively manage inflammation in the brain, it is crucial to not only rely on supplements but also maintain a neuroprotective diet. This diet is essential in prolonging inflammation in both the brain and body, making it an easy and significant way to manage it. The supplements should complement your neuroprotective diet. To understand how your diet can impact your stroke recovery and discover the foods that can accelerate the process, click here.


New Brain Cell Growth

Did you know that after a stroke, your brain can actually reorganize itself and grow new cells to help restore lost function? It's called neuroplasticity, and it's pretty amazing! However, creating new brain cells isn't easy. Luckily, there are some supplements that have been shown to help promote the growth of new brain cells.


Supplements to support new brain cell growth.

1. Oral Cerebrolysin Peptides (take as prescribed)

cerebroPep brain supplement for optimizing stroke recovery

There is a supplement that has shown promise in aiding stroke recovery. Extensive research has provided strong evidence supporting the role of neuroplasticity. Although this supplement is costly, it is one of the most effective in promoting brain recovery and has been successful in improving both motor and cognitive function. (23, 24, 25)


2. Citicoline (2000mg a day)



Citicoline is beneficial for the brain as it minimizes cell death and provides protection against cognitive function decline. Studies have shown that long-term use of citicoline is safe and effective. Moreover, it has been found to improve post-stroke cognitive decline and promote functional recovery. (13, 26)


3. Low-dose lithium (5mg 2x/day)



Research has demonstrated that lithium can promote neurogenesis, guard against cell death, and reverse the decline of grey matter in the brain. Grey matter plays a crucial role in enabling us to control our movements, retain memories, and perform complex cognitive tasks. Furthermore, studies have revealed that lithium can boost blood flow in the brain and help with cognitive recovery. Researchers have observed that stroke survivors who have been given low doses of lithium carbonate supplements have experienced improvements in their motor recovery. (15, 16)


4. Omega 3 Fish Oil (2 caps 1x/day)

This product contains a combination of EPA and DHA sourced from fish oil. There is significant research indicating that using fish oil, specifically DHA, can aid in the recovery of brain injuries, especially those related to sensorimotor deficits.(20, 21)


5. Vitamin D (50,000 IU 1x/week)



A significant number of people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency, which is crucial for preventing and treating various illnesses, including stroke. Additionally, it supports the absorption of other nutrients within the body. Eating foods that are high in vitamin D, like fatty fish, egg yolk, and cheese, is a great way to boost vitamin D levels. Moreover, several studies suggest that taking vitamin D supplements can be advantageous and aid in stroke recovery. (4, 5, 7) However, most of these studies showing improvements are using high dosage of weekly vitamin D of 50,000 IU. (6)


4. CBD (0.25-.05mg per pound of body weight 1-2x/day) (9)



CBD oil for best brain supplements for optimizing stroke recovery

There has been extensive research on the benefits of CBD oil for stroke survivors, including pain reduction, increased blood flow, and decreased spasticity. Although these benefits are still being fully explored, more conclusive research has shown that CBD can help stroke survivors reduce inflammation in the brain and stimulate the production of specific brain cells that enhance neurogenesis. It's worth noting that the CBD oil mentioned here does not contain THC, so there's no risk of experiencing a "high." However, it's important to consult with your doctor before taking CBD oil to ensure that it won't negatively interact with any medications you're currently taking. (8)


Sleep and Fatigue

Sleep is one of the most important daily functions for humans. It is the best time for the body to mobilize inflammation out of the brain and where new neurons solidify their growth. All of which aid in the recovery from your stroke.


This means if you aren’t sleeping well, your recovery could be significantly affected. Here are some strategies to improve sleep without taking any supplements. But, if you are still having trouble sleeping try these natural supplements instead.


Supplements to support sleep and improved energy.

1. Melatonin SR (2mg to 10mg depending on body weight 30-60 mins before bed) (11)


Melatonin is a widely recognized and known supplement that is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that aids sleep.


2. Phyto ADR (take as directed)



Phyto ADR has a mix of commonly used sleep agents. It contains ingredients such as ginseng and ashwagandha which are known as powerful herbs that help improve sleep, decrease stress and anxiety, and improve daily fatigue. (10)


3. Valerian root (take as directed)



Has been used to treat sleeping disorders for decades. It is a safe and naturally occurring in a flowering plant. No morning “hangover” effect. (2) It is also recommended to take for 1 month to see best results. (3)


Other Supplements Improved Stroke Outcomes and Recovery

1. Essential amino acids (take as directed)



It is unfortunate that 50% of stroke survivors experience malnourishment as a result of difficulty swallowing. This, coupled with inadequate physical activity and poor nutrition, can lead to unfavorable stroke outcomes. Essential amino acids are helpful in repairing muscles after exercise and physical activity, but it is important to note that daily exercise and physical activity are necessary for this supplement to be effective in stroke recovery. (12)


Making Your Supplement Program

Here are the top supplements for stroke recovery based on current evidence. However, it's important to remember that these supplements are meant to complement your existing programs. Your daily activities, nutrition plan, and home exercise program should take priority over choosing which supplements to take. Nevertheless, these supplements can enhance the results of your home program. Therefore, master these three steps first before considering supplements.


When you're ready to start a supplement plan, start by selecting one or two supplements from each category and try them out for a few months. If you notice an improvement, continue taking them. If not, switch to another one. It's important to keep in mind that everyone is different, with different strokes, metabolisms, and immune systems. Some recommended supplements to consider are Vitamin D, Omega 3 Fatty acids, and Resveratrol Xtra.



References:

6. Karasu, A.U.; Karataş, G.K. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on lower extremity motor function and ambulation in stroke patients. Turk. J. Med. Sci. 2021, 51, 1413–1419.

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