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Recommendation #7:
Preserve Brain Function

Many factors can conspire to rob us of mental acuity as we age, but scientists have discovered natural agents which have the potential to slow or even reverse this once inevitable decline.

Since 1982, a multi-nutrient formula called Cognitex®has been used by Life Extension members to protect and enhance neurological function. Over the years, Cognitex®has been improved in accordance with the latest research on the underlying causes of brain aging. Cognitex®contains the latest ingredients shown to provide broad-spectrum protection against the multiple mechanisms involved in neurological decline.

According to an independent study, Cognitex® has been clinically shown to increase mental focus and promote cognitive planning and organizational acuity. This ongoing study has also found that the ability to retain spatial relationships (like the distance between cars while driving), memory recall and recognition were also affected beneficially — and all within as short of a time frame as two weeks!1

UMP – Naturally Found in Mother’s Milk

One of the unique ingredients in the Cognitex® formula is uridine-5’-monophosphate, a critical brain nutrient. Uridine-5’-monophosphate (UMP) is a basic building block of RNA and DNA as well as of phosphatides such as phosphatidylcholine that are critical to optimal brain function and neuronal cell membranes. Naturally found in the milk of nursing mothers, UMP is essential not only for the growth and development of infant brains but also for healthy cognitive function in aging adults.2 Animal studies suggest that dietary supplementation with UMP may increase brain acetylcholine and phosphatide levels, and enhance some cholinergic functions.3,4

Blueberry Extract

The Cognitex® formula provides critical botanical extracts that support healthy brain function, such as wild blueberry extract standardized to anthocyanins.

Blueberry anthocyanins are considered one of nature’s most potent antioxidants and have demonstrated neurological properties that extend well beyond suppressing free radicals.5,6


As a crucial building block of all cell membranes, phosphatidylserine (PS) is required for normal cellular structure and function. In fact, brain tissues are especially rich in this nutrient. However, aging causes a decline of PS content in cells throughout the body, including brain cells, which can lead to cognitive decline. By stimulating production of acetylcholine, supplemental PS has been shown to improve the condition of patients experiencing age-associated memory impairment or cognitive decline.7,8 Thus, replacing this brain food is essential.

The Life Extension Cognitex® formula contains phosphatidylserine conjugated with a compound that mimics the naturally occurring PS in the brain. Sharp-PS® GOLD fortified with omega-3 fatty acids delivers PS to the brain to help retard the cognitive decline so often seen with advanced age. These unique nutrients have been extensively studied and may be of tremendous benefit for the aging brain. 9,10

More Protection Against Free Radicals

The brain is a highly active organ that produces high levels of free radicals. These free radicals can bombard the fatty membranes of neurons and other brain cells causing premature loss of function. Cognitex® contains a number of phytonutrient-based antioxidants that work best in a lipid (fat) rich environment like the brain.

While antioxidant nutrients provide essential free radical protection, many have limited capacity once they have spared an electron to balance a free radical. Cognitex® contains a novel rosemary extract that is rich in carnosic acid, which provides multi-step protection against free radicals in a process called the carnosic acid cascade.11 At each step of free radical interaction a new compound is formed, which in turn is a powerful antioxidant in itself.

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