Oxaloacetic acid and the brain
What is oxaloacetic acid?
Oxaloacetic acid (OAA) is a key part of your natural energy cycle (aka the “Krebs cycle”) and is involved in many metabolic processes in the body. One of these processes is gluconeogenesis, the metabolic pathway that enables you to make glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, so it is particularly important for anyone on a low carb diet. OAA is also required for cellular energy production and has multiple protective effects in the body, particularly in the brain.
What are the neuroprotective benefits of OAA?
Research into oxaloacetic acid supplementation has shown it has a protective effect against neural pesticide exposure(1), neurodegenerative diseases(2), and has been shown in animal models to aid the repair of traumatic brain injuries(3)(4). This is likely because of the way OAA helps you to make new mitochondria and get rid of excess glutamate, which is an important ‘excitatory’ neurotransmitter. We require glutamate in the brain to form memories and to send signals between neurons. However too much glutamate can make you feel jittery and causes damage to neurons and brain tissue(5).
What is BenaGene™?
BenaGene is a nutritional supplement which contains a very effective patented version of oxaloacetic acid along with Vitamin C. It has been specifically formulated to be highly stable and bioavailable so that you only have to take it once a day, and is supported by multiple studies showing neuroprotective benefits as well as helping with energy and endurance. BenaGene is the OAA supplement that we recommend most often at Functional Self.
What other benefits can I get from supplementing with BenaGene OAA?
BenaGene supplementation has been shown to increase energy levels and endurance, and activates a large number of anti-aging genes. BenaGene works by mimicking the effect of fasting in the body, which has been shown to extend human lifespan and healthspan(6).
The four key benefits of BenaGene supplementation are:
- Neuroprotective benefit - BenaGene OAA supports cognitive function, may help to clear brain fog and is thought to have a protective effect for neurons and neurodegenerative diseases(7). It has also been shown to stimulate neurogenesis (i.e. the formation of neurons)(8).
- Boost energy levels - OAA is involved in energy production within your mitochondria, and is a key part of your natural energy cycle.
- Anti-aging effect - OAA mimics the effect of caloric restriction or fasting on the body, which is known to activate anti-aging genes and protect and repair DNA(9).
- May reduce cancer growth - Oxaloacetic acid has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells(10) (11), with further studies showing that the glutamine-reducing effect of OAA may have a therapeutic benefit for a range of cancers(12).