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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was pleasantly surprised when I received my copy of Mind Boosters from amazon. As I looked through the 300 pages of the book, I was in awe on how much information was packed. On just about every page of the book there was a heading that caught my eye. I was especially drawn to the author's personal experience with the supplements. Dr. Sahelian apparently took the dozens of nutrients he has in his book and it was very refreshing that he included his observations on how they made him feel. He also lists the scientific research on each supplement and the cautions and side effects. What made me trust the information in this book even more is that he mentions a few supplements that don't work or how a cheaper alternative can save the reader a lot of money. Also, his dosage recommendations seem prudent. Everything seems to be well-explained and organized with proper references. I like the way he categorizes the chapters and how he makes brain chemistry real simple to understand and the biochemical basis on how the nutrients work. His chapter on supplements for mood elevation was excellent. Since I have mild depression, his step by step guide is very practical. I also liked his chapter on the top nutrients that improve vision. I followed his guidelines on the fish oil intake and did notice within two days my vision being sharper and clearer. There is a good glossary of the scientific terms used in the book and an excellent index. Over the years I have read quite a few books on brain supplements, and, without a doubt, this is the finest book on this topic that I've come across so far.
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93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon August 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have found Dr Sahelian's books on Creatine, DHEA and Pregnenolone very useful, and this one is no exception. He discusses brain function and chemistry and how it relates to nutrition, and provides information on how to improve your mind through lifestyle factors. This is followed by detailed explanations of how supplements work, supported by research findings, under the categories Memory Boosters, Mood & Energy Lifters, Methyl Donors, Keeping Your Brain Young With Antioxidants, Mind Energizers, Amino Acids, Brain Hormones, and Psychoactive Herbs. There are extensive mind-boosting programmes for the age groups 25 - 40, 41 - 60 and for age 61 and over. The last chapter provides natural prescriptions for depression, vision enhancement, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. This well-researched, well-written book is rounded off with a glossary, bibliography and references plus a thorough index. It is the most complete and authoritative book of its kind and also a pleasure to read. I would have liked to find more information on Deprenyl, but it is a drug - not a natural supplement - and thus outside the scope of this book. Similar informative books that deal with nutritional supplementation include William Regelson's 'The Superhormone Promise' and Timothy J Smith's 'Renewal.' Mind Boosters however, remains the best overall reference book on cutting-edge nutrition for a healthy mind.
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124 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
"Mind Boosters" by Dr. Ray Sahelian, as of today, is the most authoritative and detailed book on the way food and herbal supplements can affect your mental performance. As the cover implies, your mind, memory and mood can be profoundly influenced by what you take in your body, key among it various herbs, tinctures and many supplements and remedies found in specialty stores, and more often, even in the supermarket.

"Mind Boosters" will reinforce or strengthen your knowledge of what you may need to know most in your life. I have made irrefutable links between foods, moods, herbal supplements and driving behaviors, or just human behavior in general. Dr. Sahelian is the authority on neurochemicals and the way in which hormones and neurotransmitters play a central role in regulating the body and fight to maintain a precise biochemical balance. Dr. Sahelian points out the role of St. John's Wort, Ginko Biloba, 5-HTP, GABA, Kava, and lots more, including the role of fats in the diet (did you know that the brain is made up of 60% fat?). All this perfectly spread over the 22 chapters. Part I starts right at the beginning with, "Using Your Brain..." and can have an ordinary person with reasonable capacity to take in new information beginning to understand some important functions about brain and mind and body interaction. It's like this doctor doing a basic, bare-bones sketch to brand new medical students--and the book does have great, easy-to-understand illustrations. For these reasons, this book will have you so smart by the time you are done that, if you follow the advice (with the help of a doctor), you will have little need to worry about suffering the effects of neglecting your body's precise chemical balances. Also discussed are the role of receptor sites, and how they can be intercepted by pseudo-neurons, or neurons that were "faking" the fingerprint of another.

Dr. Sahelian is a terrific writer. Not one word is wasted, every sentence informs, every chapter educates. I've memorized most of the acronyms, and when you start rattling off these terms at a stressed, depressed or oppressed person because their diet is lacking, they stand back at their impression of your knowledge. "I think you should start by cutting back on the coffee," I tell them gently, and furthermore "pick up a good Vitamin-B complex, along with a choline and inositol supplement. You might also consider some gamma-aminobutryic acid or dihydroepiandrosterone, along with a 50-mg. supplement of 5-hydroxytryptophan." They say, "Whoa! I had no idea I needed those." The bottom line: the foods and drinks we assimilate are all precursors to hormones and neurotransmitters in the body. So if someone is not eating right or getting enough fluids, well, would that explain why, for example, they are depressed, anxious, obsessed, frustrated or angry all the time? Check your diet first! "Boost your mind" is the cornerstone of Dr. Sahelian's work, in which he really knows his subjects. This book should be worth scholarly credits. Recommended for all educated readers.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first learned about Mind Boosters on author Ray Sahelian, M.D.'s Web Site. My particular interest has been in vitamin and hormone supplementation as an anti-aging regimen. Dr. Sahelian provides an extremely informative discussion of a multitude of supplements -- vitamins, herbs, amino acids, and hormones -- that can keep one's mental acuity at its peak and help maintain a high level of overall physical well-being. Since many of these supplements have yet to be subjected to long-term clinical testing by medical experts, Dr. Sahelian brings to the reader the latest information about the use of many of these supplements that is partly based on his own personal experiences as well as results reported by countless others. He is both prudent and cautious in recommending the types of supplements and the appropriate doses one should take for his or her particular needs. This book is well written, informative and can and should serve as a continuing source of reference.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be an excellent and very readable source of information regarding the current wave of cutting edge natural supplements for enhancing mind, memory, and mood. Dr. Sahelian presents information based on research and also upon his own personal experience with the supplements being discussed, which provides both an objective and a personal perspective that gives the work depth and believability. I was especially impressed with Dr. Sahelian's web site, referenced in the book, which allows his readers to ask follow up questions directly to the Doctor himself (he actually answers!). Buy this book.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Once again Ray Sahelian has written THE handbook for supplements helpful for keeping our busy brains functioning. I sound like his publicist, but I'm not. He knows what he is talking about! I first encountered his work through a site, iHerbLtd. This company sells a whole variety of supplements and depends upon his work for documentation. No longer is diet enough, and thank goodness that Sahelian has done the research he has to educate us on what supplements are good. I am also thankful for reliable sites like iHerbLtd who use his research as a basis for the products they stock. I feel like I am in good hands as I am taking my own health into my own hands.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has good information, mostly on the supplements widely available in the U.S. (i.e. things you will find in supermarket vitamin isles). Some potentially useful substances -- specifically pyroglutamic acid derivatives, Rhodiola and other supplements that have extensive testing in Europe but not U.S. -- are not mentioned.

Also, despite referencing studies, dr. Sahelian relies on patient observations and his own experiences to a fairly significant degree. This is not necessarily a minus -- it is necessary when double blind, placebo controlled trials are lacking -- but it is something the reader should be aware of.

Overall though this is a solid introduction to the topic with a nice basic "brain science" primer.

Finally, I should note that one of the problems with health/supplements in the US is that there are essentially battle lines drawn with big Pharma on one side and the "Alternative" medicine field on the other. Unfortunately, both sides have many quacks among their ranks. Against this backdrop Dr Sahelian is one of the less biased sources of information on supplements, so it is easy to recommend his book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
For the average person , this will give one some wonderful ideas and many are effective for any age. This is a fairly all inclusive book and I do think it will help most ....or at least get then started...and it is a book your MD will read. It is easy to breeze through and then decide where you will focus and what are the best treatments.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Contrary to the review labelled most helpful there is nothing cutting edge about this book. It is currently more than 13-14 years out of date. If you want cutting edge information get a subscription to Nutrition Action Health Letter from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which is not selling anything and is supported solely from subscriptions. It is far better than the dozens of Health Letters from Universities or Hospitals which are generally pretty good.

For example, abundant current research has now shown very clearly that vitamin E supplements should not be recommended, even though some of the early research showed some promise.

You would be far better off reading Brain Candy by Theodore Lidsky and Jay Schneider instead. Unfortunately it too is getting long in the tooth, but at least it will teach you how to be properly skeptical of the "snake oil" peddlers, an attitude which will continue to be useful in the future just as much as in the present or in the past.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Mind Boosters has been a great help for me and my wife who has Parkinsons. We have been able to find products and help where there is no known cure. We have found no cure but a sense of learning about things that can be of some help for my wife's problem.
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