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Concussion

Once again, training had to take a back seat to a family emergency.  Just after a two-hour training ride last week, my son called to say that he had hurt himself skiing.  He thought he had just hurt his tailbone but the x-ray in Urgent Care showed a fracture of his L5.  After numerous injections of pain and anti-inflammatory meds and a long ride to the hospital by ambulance, an MRI and CAT scan showed cracks in his vertebrae and a bulging disc.  A concussion was later diagnosed along with heart arrhythmia.  I still suspect that all the drugs administered caused the irregularities in his heartbeat.

Concussions are also called Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. According to The Children’s Hospital, the cells in the brain can be damaged. The processes that normally keep these cells healthy and active may become overwhelmed or can stop functioning entirely which can lead to their death.  Also, some of the materials within the cell can be damaged by reacting with other substances and become chemically altered (called oxidation).  One of the major responses of the body to all this damage is inflammation. The impact of all of this damage and inflammation can lead to problems thinking, remembering, moving, smelling and tasting, painful headaches and possibly many other issues. (And all the while I thought my forgetfulness and problems thinking were peri-menopause symptoms)!

These supplements and the recommended dosages have been shown to help with the consequences of brain injury.  Please check with a doctor before taking any supplements with other medications for possible side effects.

Alpha Lipoic Acid:  400-800 mg/day, taken without meals directly prevents oxidation and helps other substances recycle so that they can perform their natural anti-oxidation function.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine:  500-1000 mg/day, taken with meals helps the cells utilize fats for cellular energy production, necessary for the cells to stay healthy.  Provides chemical compounds that are necessary for the production of one of the substances that brain cells use to communicate with one another

Co-enzyme Q10:  100-300 mg/day, taken with meals, acts like a vitamin and is required for energy production which is necessary for the cell to stay healthy, prevents oxidation, stabilizes the structural layers of the cells so that they stay healthy.

Omega 3 fatty acids, fish oil that contains EPA/DHA (see my earlier blog on quality fish oil): 1-3 grams per day taken with meals acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

I already take three of the four but want to add Acetyl-L-Carnitine to my regimen for brain health.  We have a family history of elder cognitive dysfunction and I want to help my brain cells communicate with each other.  All these items can be found at www.hihealth.com and if you have questions, a Hi-Health professional can help you with your needs.   Only eight weeks to go until Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Race Day!  And so, here’s to a better week of training and healing through supplementation.

About Cheri Rifkin

Cheri Rifkin has been involved in the natural products, sports nutrition and fitness industry for over 25 years. She is a wife and mother of two active teenagers, a PSIA Certified Ski and Spinning® instructor and leads an Iron Horse Bicycle Classic cycling program in the mountains of Colorado. Over the years, she has participated in ski racing, triathlon, cycling races, half marathons and off-road running races. She is passionate about making healthy choices for her family and realizes how vital it is to be diligent in her efforts to be healthy and fit.

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