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The Best Supplements for Concussion Recovery

Concussions and Sports: What You Should Know

After working with many clients and receiving numerous questions, I have updated this article to reflect a very specific plan of action for parents and adults to adopt for prevention and repair. 

Best Supplements for Concussions

Taking Concussions More Seriously

While at the gym over a year ago, I caught a small part of the World Cup game between Uruguay and England. Within a few minutes, I witnessed Alavaro Pereira take a knee to the face and was knocked out cold. Did they rush him to get medical help and reduce inflammation? No, they let him back in the game. This isn’t a “walk it off” scenario and there’s a lot of hoopla going on right now condemning those in charge for allowing this and other similar examples in sports across the board.

Uruguay concussion

TBI Leading Cause of Death under 45

TBI is the leading cause of death in individuals under the age of 45 years, with an estimated incidence of death reported as 20–30 per 100,000. The majority of TBI cases can be attributed to motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian injuries. It is also a major concern in football, rugby, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and ice hockey – where there has been major increases in concussions.

  • According to the CDC, the amount of kids coming into the ER with brain injuries went from 153,000 in 2001 to 250,000 in 2009; a 60 percent increase.
  • In football and hockey, the number of actual concussions is six or seven times higher than the number diagnosed. Approximately 70 percent of football players and 62 percent of soccer players get at least one concussion per year.
  • In a study of Norwegian soccer players, 81 percent had impairment of attention, concentration, memory and judgement ranging from mild to severe.
  • A new study from the Archives of Pediactrics & Adolescent Medicine found that children who suffer concussions may experience lingering problems with memory and attention, even 12 months after the injury.
  • The New York Times reported that 30 percent of concussions are from football in teenagers between 15-19. The NFL has taken steps to reduce the number of head injuries and is raising awareness due multiple football players speaking out.

What are the Repercussions of Getting Concussions?

According to this study there are multiple mechanisms that lead to secondary damage after a concussion including ischemia, activation of neuronal death cascades, cerebral swelling, and inflammation. Dr. Amen in Making a Good Brain Great explains:

While often there are no immediate symptoms with a concussion and nothing irregular shows up on the CT scan or the MRI, subtle changes occur. Over a period of a few weeks or even months, the individual may become tearful, angry or irritable; have trouble thinking clearly or concentrating; or suffer from headaches, confusion blurred vision memory loss or nausea. There may be personality changes, temper problems, dark thoughts, and difficulty expressing emotions or understanding others.

Despite the technological advances made during the last several decades, there still is no effective neuroprotective therapy currently available for mild let alone severe traumatic brain injuries. The mainstay of treatment for patients with concussions is rest and while the majority of patients have a spontaneous resolution of their symptoms over a short period of time, approximately 10-20% of patients will have persistent symptoms. That percentage is too high for having persistent symptoms.

Another study found that neck strength predicts concussion risk. Biomechanic researchers have suspected that girls have a higher concussion rate than boys in sports like soccer and lacrosse due to differences in neck strength. If your neck is weak, then concussions are more likely because your head will shake more on impact, causing the brain to slam against the skull. Research has backed this claim up and found that for every one pound increase in neck strength, odds of concussion fell by 5 percent. While for some this may not be anything new, but if your neck is lacking in girth, give it more focus.

Exercise Vs. Rest

University of Buffalo researchers published a study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, that individualized exercise programs just below the onset of symptoms is safe and can relieve nearly all post-concussion symptoms. “The results counter the accepted wisdom that PCS should be treated with rest, reassurance and antidepressants, and that physical activity should be avoided.”  The athletes who exercised returned to normal within 11 to 36 days, while those who did not exercise required 41 to 112 days of intervention.

Another point I found interesting was “if the patient does not develop symptoms during the exercise test, then the cause of their difficulties is likely to be another source. Most commonly it is neck strain, which tends to cause headaches that mimic post-concussion headache.”

Nutrients for Concussions: It’s Time to Move Beyond Ibuprofen

Nutrition for Concussions Based on Site of Injury


We need to start focusing on what we can do to bolster protection and repair once a concussion has occurred to lower it’s overall affect. The recommendations of rest and Ibuprofen are not enough; we need to start utilizing nutrients for concussions that have been proven to work in studies. Currently, we can take what we know about inflammation and trauma to the brain and apply it to concussions, and start looking into what supplements can help reduce the damage of concussions. Certain compounds with multiple mechanisms of neuroprotection and anti-inflammatory properties can be applied.

The Best Supplements for Concussion Prevention and Recovery

According to Dr. David A. Honda, the director of the Brain Injury Research Center at UCLA, recovery depends not only on the severity of the blow but also on how many previous concussions a person has suffered. Once a person has suffered a concussion, he or she is as much as four times more likely to sustain a second one.

What are the best supplements for concussions? Inflammation control, blood vessel and tissue repair are in order. Do not wait until you have a concussion to start implementing ways to protect your brain from injury. It is always easier to prevent damage than it is to repair it, and having a nutritional reservoir on hand when it occurs will help first responders of your body to work efficiently.

Remember, these are suggestions based on current research, and are in no way intended to take the place of the care from your physician. I recommend taking this article with you to the doctors office to assist in a plan.

I played every sport available while growing up, and if my future kids play sports, this is the protocol I will use for protection and will adjust as necessary if a concussions occurs. Remember to choose a good electrolyte drink as well to stay well hydrated.

1. Virgin Cod Liver Oil or Nordic Naturals DHA Brain and Nervous System Support


In terms of the brain, a July publication of The Journal of Neurosurgery, Dr. Julian Bailes and Dr. Barry Sears found that supplementing rats with EPA/DHA fish oil after head injuries reduced the observed issues with a concussion; “Animals receiving the daily fish oil supplement for 30 days post concussion had a greater than 98 percent reduction in brain damage compared with the animals that did not receive the supplement,” Dr. Sears said. “It is hypothesized that the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil reduced the neural inflammation induced by the concussion injury.”

Concussions require tissue repair and anti-inflammatory intervention. “One implication of the study is that concussions, such as those that occur in football, may be best treated with immediate high-dose fish oil supplementation to reduce brain inflammation. The same may hold true of all brain trauma patients,” Sears said.

How About Fish Oil’s Ability to Provide Preventative Protection Against Concussions?

Other studies have found utilizing rodent models of experimental injury have shown that pre-injury dietary supplementation with fish oil effectively reduces post-traumatic elevations in protein oxidation resulting in stabilization of multiple molecular mediators of learning, memory, cellular energy homeostasis and mitochondrial calcium homeostasis as well as improving cognitive performance.

The benefits of pre-traumatic DHA supplementation have not only been independently confirmed, but DHA supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce the number of swollen, disconnected and injured axons when administered following traumatic brain injury. Of note, DHA has provided neuroprotection in experimental models of both focal and diffuse traumatic brain injury.

Virgin Cod Liver Oil or Isolated Fish Oil for Concussions?

Both of the products contain high amounts of DHA (500mg cod liver oil, and 480mg Nordic Naturals). Many fish oils only contain EPA and DHA, and often are in low amounts. Cod liver oil contains vitamin A and D, both very important nutrients for athletes. True vitamin A comes eggs, liver and dairy, and requirements are increased from exercise and a higher protein intake. The main source of vitamin D is the sun and foods like cod liver oil. A balance between A and D in the body should be maintained. You will need to determine if vitamin A and supplemental vitamin D are also necessary.

Vitamin A is a potent signaling molecule in the brains of growing and adult animals, regulates numerous gene products, and modulates neurogenesis, neuronal survival and synaptic plasticity. Vitamin A has been indicated in memory and learning, and researchers at Berkeley discovered that when memory cells are treated with vitamin A as retinoic acid (a metabolite of retinol, the form in cod liver oil, not multivitamins), vitamin A “turns on” specialized receptors on neurons, causing them to explode with new dendrites—spiny branches that receive information from other nerve cells.

Vitamin D supplementation and the prevention of vitamin D deficiency may serve valuable roles in the treatment of TBI. Vitamin D deficiency may increase inflammatory damage and behavioral impairment following experimental injury. Maintain your vitamin D levels between 35ng/ml and 50ng/ml with blood tests every six months. If you are very low in vitamin D, you will need to supplement with higher amounts of Vitamin D to boost levels.
Cod Liver Oil Amount: 1/4 to 1 tsp. daily based on weight.
Fish Oil Amount: 1-2 capsules 1-2x a day, or as directed by your doctor

2. Magnesium Glycinate

Studies show that brain magnesium levels fall 50% for 5 days after injury to the CNS. Low magnesium levels facilitate secondary injury processes including inflammation, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, energy failure, edema formation, free radical production, and apoptosis, among others. When magnesium levels are significantly decreased after trauma, the cells are less capable of providing sufficient energy for repair and restoration; events that may result in cell death.

Post-traumatic administration of magnesium to restore normal magnesium homeostasis reduces neuronal cell death and increases the likelihood of recovery. Studies of both animal and human brain trauma victims suggest higher magnesium levels are associated with better recovery. The majority of people are magnesium deficient to begin with.
Amount: 6-8mg per kilogram of body weight (weight divided by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms, then multiply this number by 6-8)

3. C-Salts C-Salts Buffered Vitamin C (best high potency L-ascorbate for low and high doses,or sensitive stomachs)

The brain consumes a disproportionate amount of the body’s oxygen as it derives its energy almost exclusively from oxidative metabolism. Current studies suggest that oxidative stress lasts at least 24 hours after a traumatic brain injury and that antioxidant reserves like vitamin C are severely compromised, however vitamin E received a zero net loss in rats. Vitamin C has a short half-life, and the supply is needed to be continually refilled, especially during injury and illness. Flavonoids also play an important role in controlling the inflammatory process.
Amount: 500mg-3000mg depending on age and weight in two doses daily, and may require hourly dosing (100mg-1000mg) after injury.

4. Liquid Zinc Gluconate (Easier to dose for kids and adults) or Zinc Picolinate Capsules

TBI patients have increased urinary zinc losses and acutely reduced serum zinc levels. Human clinical data suggest that supplemental zinc can be used during recovery to improve cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with brain injury. Additionally, pre-clinical models suggest that zinc may increase resilience to traumatic brain injury, making it potentially useful in populations at risk for injury. It would appear that this is especially true for injuries to the temporal lobe.

5. Phosphatidyl Choline

Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter of the vagus nerve, which enervates numerous organs. The vagus nerve also is connected to the brain stem, as seen here. Acetylcholine requires adequate choline to function correctly. Choline is connected to lower anxiety levels, plays an important role in cell membrane health, and improving memory.

A study using a rat model found that dietary choline supplementation resulted in a modest degree of improvement in spatial memory as assessed in the Morris water maze test. In addition, choline treatment resulted in significant cortical tissue sparing, reduced brain inflammation, and normalized some TBI-induced deficits in nAChR expression. If an injury has occurred to the temporal lobe and memory is affected, it would stand to reason that choline supplementation should be used.

6. Promix Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder

Studies have found that Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) have increased recovery after traumatic brain injuries. One study found significant reductions were seen in the concentration of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) after a TBI. Dietary consumption of BCAAs restored hippocampal BCAA concentrations to normal, reversed injury-induced shifts in net synaptic efficacy, and led to reinstatement of cognitive performance after concussive brain injury. All brain-injured mice that consumed BCAAs demonstrated cognitive improvement with a simultaneous restoration in net synaptic efficacy.

Promix is a grass-fed whey concentrate for 5 lbs. and 76 servings at $79.99. That is $1.05 per serving. Compare that to other grass-fed whey protein powders that are 1-2 lbs. and may cost twice that much per serving. See a full analysis of whey protein powders here.
Amount: 1 serving in the morning and post-workout

7. B-Complex Plus

Animal TBI models have demonstrated that nicotinaminde (B3 niacin) yielded beneficial effects including reduced cortical damage, inflammation, and behavioral disruption in animals receiving infusions. It would stand to reason that B12, folate, B2 (riboflavin) and B6 would also be crucial, since they are all involved in neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain and controlling inflammation from preventing elevated homocysteine and high nitric oxide levels.
Amount: 1 serving daily

Other Supplements of Interest with Concussion Recovery

Lion’s Mane Powder by Real Mushrooms or Lion’s Mane Capsules:

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that caught my attention while reading research showing that the hot water extract stimulates the Nerve Growth Factor (part of a family of similar proteins that serve to promote the health and normal function of the brain and nervous system) and accelerates the growth of the myelin sheath. After a concussion, significant damage is done to the myelin sheath of the nerve leading to the brain cell. Regenerating the myeline sheath is a crucial step towards recovery and preventing damage.

One study found that neuronal excitability from glutamic acid (glutamate levels are elevated after an injury) appears to be attenuated in the presence of Lion’s Mane. There are also fatty acids in Lion’s Mane that are believed to be responsible for enhancing cognitive function. More research is needed for Lion’s Mane which appears to have amazing potential.
Amount: 2000mg-3000mg in two doses.

Curcumin and Resveratrol: Preclinical studies have suggested that pre-traumatic and post-traumatic curcumin (from the spice turmeric) supplementation may bolster the brain’s resilience to injury and serve as a valuable therapeutic option. These studies demonstrated that both pre- and post-traumatic curcumin administration resulted in a significant reduction of neuroinflammation. Resveratrol has been demonstrated to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier, increase cerebral blood flow, reduce inflammation and improve outcomes in animal models following multiple acute neurological traumas. Resveratrol treatment in immature rodents reduced post-traumatic neuronal loss and improved behavioral measures of locomotion, anxiety, and novel object recognition memory.
Amount: Check with doctor

Green Tea Extract: Green Tea contains a flavanoid called EGCG, the amino acid theanine and methylxanthine. All have been found in vitro and in vivo to have neuroprotective effects including protection from excitotoxic injury and inhibiting inflammation.
Amount: Check with doctor. Avoid if you are sensitive to caffeine.

Doctor Referrals

If you are a doctor, or know of a doctor doing work like the Amen Clinics specializing in concussions/TBI’s, please leave a comment so that we can create a global directory where people can be under the best care.

Amen Clinics: Orange County, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Washington State, Atlanta, New York

66 Responses to The Best Supplements for Concussion Recovery

  • Thanks
    Wish I had known this after my concussion.

  • you may want to consider including the triad of B vitamins (B12,B6 AND folate) that have been implicated in cognitive performance!!

  • Dear Alex,

    Thank you for such great research and information on the nutritional support critical in recovering from concussions (Traumatic Brain Injuries TBI)!

    As a TBI survivor and Shaklee distributor, I can attest to the effectiveness of the Shaklee nutritional products in TBI recovery. My personal regiment is:

    Omega Guard (fish oil)
    180 Energizing Smoothee Mix , Whey Protein
    Vita-Lea Gold (multivitamin)
    Sustained Release Vita-C 500 mg
    Vivex (resveratrol and a phytonutrient blend)
    180 Energizing Tea (green, white, and red teas as well as taurine)

    Additionally I take and recommend for brain health:
    (vitamin) B-Complex
    Mental Acuity Plus (for mental clarity)

    Alex, I am excited about exploring adding to my regiment the astaxanthin, Lion’s Mane, and curcumin (from the spice turmeric).

    For further information regarding the Shaklee products, please visit my website.

    • Wow,I didn’t realize how much nutrition plays a part in recovering from brain injury!

      • I just had a massive benefit by increasing the vitamin C IV (Myers’ cocktail of anti-oxidants and Vit C and other nutrients) to a triple dose and holy cow does it work. Oral is good and IV is even better if you can get a Myers’ cocktail

  • Dear Alex,
    It has come to my attention that COQ10 may be helpful for neurological recovery. Do you have any info that supports this position? I have also been using a product that combines COQ10 and Resveratrol. I recommended this product along with omega fatty acids and lecithin for a stroke recovery client. What are your thoughts? As an aside, my client recovered remarkably well!

  • A fifteen year old female suffered a severe concussion. This is her first (and hopefully her last). Of the vitamins and supplements you all have listed above, which are the best for her situation? And how long should she take them for a full recovery?

    • Hi Heather,

      So sorry to hear that. The following should be monitored and approved by her physician. My recommendation would be fish oil (dosing by her doctor), vitamin C and grass-fed whey protein. She should follow an anti-inflammatory diet to support recovery (avoiding sugar and wheat especially). It is hard to determine at what point a full recovery has taken place, however the fish oil study marked 30 days as an endpoint of recovery. I would actually recommend that she follows this program while she plays sports for prevention in case it happens again, and includes a multi-vitamin to prevent any deficiencies since the brain uses many other vitamins and minerals as well.

  • Dear Alex,

    I just wanted to thank you for your article on concussions and vitamins. I’m in my early forties and suffered a concussion a few weeks back that resulted in hearing lose in my left ear, neck pain, ringing in my ear, eye issues and dizziness.(all of the typical symptoms). It’s going on the fourth week and I’m not seeing any real major improvements.

    An ENT specialist prescribed heavy dose of steroids, 60mg tapering dose, which I did start but after a day felt that wasn’t the right treatment or a concussion. ..not a fan of steroids.

    I’ve always been a big advocate of naturopathic treatments and do take quite a few vitamins because of my MS. I didn’t think of going to look for a vitamin solution until this week but in reading your recommendations it certainly seems plausible that these things could work. All of the supplements you suggested really are a no brainer and I guess I must say it’s too bad more people don’t look at natural alternative for concussions (me included). Also really didn’t consider my water intake either.

    I will have to go look for lion’s mane, the only supplement that I’m not aware of, though it looks promising even for any MS attacks.

    Again just wanted to thank you; I feel significantly more proactive after reading this article!

    • Hi Suzy,

      I am so sorry to hear you are still suffering after 4 weeks. I’m glad the article helped formulate a plan. If there is anything you need researched or have questions about, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Hey Alex, any recommendations on how much omega 3 I should consume for post concussion syndrome?

    • Hey Kyle,

      It would depend on age, height, weight, the amount of EPA and DHA in the product being used etc. For the fish oil dosage it should be done under the care of a practitioner that has access to your health history.

  • Hi Alex, this article is just what I was looking for. My daughter 11 is still suffering symptoms of a concussion after 3 1/2 weeks. The neurologist prescribed steroids today, and being naturally suspicious of them, I am trying to research before giving them to her. still haven’t decided on that as there isn’t much info on the web. What is your experience/knowledge with steriod treatment for a concussion?

    For your supplement recommendations above, would you consider all of them to be safe for children?

    • Hi Teri,

      Very, very sorry to hear she is still suffering from symptoms. We would be happy to do an analysis and work-up for her at Swanson Health Center ( As you can understand, due to the nature of the condition I cannot give direct advice without a thorough review (diet, supplements, medication, severity of concussion, symptoms etc.) to help decide on the best course of action for reducing inflammation and healing, especially for her age.

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    • Hi Brandy,

      Have you had any luck? Any supplements you have found that work?
      My daughter is turning 13 in November, and at the end of this month she will be at 2 years of a constant headache that fluctuates from a 5 to a 10. We have tried many of the doctor prescribed meds and none have worked. Along with many other dr. appts, treatments, etc.

  • My son sustained a concussion 7 months ago while playing soccer. He is 14 years old and has post concussion syndrome. He has been followed weekly by multiple concussion specialists since the injury. He attends weekly vision therapy and athletic training. He has daily headaches that fluctuate between a 3 to a 5. He takes:
    Omega 3 1200mg
    Riboflavin 100mg
    Amitriptyline 50mg has not helped over the last 6 weeks, so we are now trying Gabapentin. Any other suggestions?

    • Hi Brandy,

      I am sorry to hear that your son is still struggling. The main focus needs to be on lowering inflammation while promoting the healing the process. That requires a full b-complex – especially folate, B12 and B6. Riboflavin in higher doses can be helpful with migraines, but repair and inflammation is highly dependent on the other B vitamins. The grass-fed whey protein is very important for glutathione, which is working overtime right now. Vitamin C and magnesium should also be included for tissue damage and relaxing the muscle tension. He may require a full spectrum fish oil, not just EPA and DHA. Lastly, his diet needs to be nutrient dense and low in sugar and flour based foods which deplete b-vitamins, vitamin C and minerals. It is hard to heal injuries if other deficiencies are occurring. I would run all this by the specialists first since I have limited information.

    • Brandy,

      Sorry to hear about your son. I would highly recommend checking out the website This product was designed with the help of some of the leading concussion specialists and doctors in the country and is specifically designed for post concussion recovery. It’s also easy to take and tastes good. I stumbled on them after a couple pretty severe concussions and would recommend to anyone.

      Hope that was helpful and good luck.


  • Alex, I so wish I had this info prior to Dec 2014. My daughter plays soccer and got hit in the temple. It took about 3 months before she was symptom free. Now I she experiences headaches about 10 min post game/practice that didn’t occur before. Wondering if any of the supplements above would help reduce those? Any direction on research would be appreciated.

    • Hi Beth,

      I wish I could help your daughter, but it sounds like she should be evaluated by a doctor before making any recommendations. One tip I can give you is to make sure she is getting sufficient electrolytes during her games and practice and not getting dehydrated.

  • Yes , any food that looks like an organ of the body directly benefits that organ it’s called “The doctrine of signature “,asparagus the tips looks like the brain and is great to heal a brain injury , as well as celery , remember whole foods have tremendous healing powers , as Hippocrates said” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. “

  • Greetings, as Christ would say , remember everyone” whole” foods have tremendous healing powers , Hyppocraties said” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food “. Their is a principle in the health field it’s called the” Doctrine of Signature “, which says any food that looks like an organ of the body directly , specifically benefits that organ , how deep is that ?, a 4th grader could get that . So ,” asparagus” the” tips” looks like your brains its tremendous for concussions , walnut look exactlylike your brains are also very healing , celery reduces inflammation too . God bless . I can be reached at

  • Excellent site you have got here.. It’s difficult to
    find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

  • My daughter got to concussions that went untreated because the doctors office said that she did not have a concussion. ( three times I took her in) Long story short they finally realized it was a concussion and through testing found out she had 2 bleeds in the center of her brain. This has been three and a half years ago. She still deals with all of the symptoms of the concussion and has had a headache that has never gone away for all this time. We have seen about 24 different doctors and health care people. We are tired and wonder if she will ever have a healthy life. We eat organic, no grains ( because she is celiac now) Any suggestions after so long of time lasp?

    • Hi Diana,

      I can only imagine what you and your family have been through. I would really like to try and help you. Please send me an email through the contact form and give me more details on what the doctors found, her age, when she developed celiac, and supplements/medications she is currently taking.

  • I had a minor concussion the past weekend while skiing. I visited my family doctor yesterday due to the concerns of dizziness and mild headache, he simply told me that I needed some rest and would get better; he even did not check the swollen on my head. I am so glad I read the article here, and realized that I need a lot of nutrition to help my brain to recover. I am heading to the shop now. Thanks, Alex.

  • Hi,
    My name is Jane . My son was hit in the head while pitching in gym class. Someone hit a line drive into the right side of his head.
    This happened a year and a half ago and he hasn’t been the same since. He no longer can concentrate and has no executive function. He did start exercising consistently the last 5 weeks which has been helpful.
    But he is not back to his old self. I think it is anxiety and depression.
    What would you suggest. We have been to many doctors.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Jane,

      That is so unfortunate to hear. You encouraged me to create a diagram that I just added to this article to clarify which specific nutrients may be needed based on the site of the injury/behavioral changes. I also added new info about zinc. I’m not sure where you are located, but I would recommend looking into the Dr. Amen clinics, where your son would get the best care. These clinics put a special emphasis on nutrition and supplementation for brain health and recovery.

  • I am 48 and suffered at least 2 head traumas before the age of 13. I feel even today as though I have not yet fully recovered. What supplementation protocol would you recommend to halt and reverse any recurring degeneration? Is this a month or 3 or more of supplements. How can I simplify this into something that someone who has suffered head injuries can remember to fulfill on daily?

    • Hi James,

      I would recommend taking this list to your physician and having him/her formulate the best plan for you. It will depend on your symptoms, health history, individual biochemistry etc. to truly be effective, and they will be in the best position to do that.

  • My 12 year old son had a concussion in December playing basketball. Concussion put him on magnesium and B2 for 30 days. He’s back to playing sports and I was wondering what you would recommend from a preventative manner?

    • Hi Ken,

      I hope your son is doing better. For a 12 year old male who has had a concussion, I would put magnesium, zinc, fish oil and b-vitamins as the most important. I am currently looking for a good b-complex for those 12 and under since the one listed is better suited for older teens and adults.

  • This is an old thread but I need help. My 11 year old had a. Concussion and I agree with all the supplementals listed, but she cannot have dairy…so whey doesn’t work. Any other suggestions??

    • Hi,

      Typically if people are sensitive to cow whey, they can use goat whey with success. If not, you can try the Vega Sport Performance protein powder or organic pea protein powder.

  • Hello,

    My husband was involved in an explosion at a work site back in July. He has been having really bad headaches from what they are saying is post concussional syndrome. He has been on many medicines including amitriptyline which is not and have not helped at all! We were wanting to take the more natural approach adn were wondering if you had any suggestions as to what could help. (We dont necessarily need him healed right away but do want to get rid of the consistent headaches!) Thanks so much 🙂

    • Hi Bethany,

      The headaches come sometimes be attributed to neck strain, and a good bodyworker can help with consistent adjustments that can make a huge difference. Light exercise helps oxygen keep moving and expedites the healing process (see the paragraph and study link in the article). Magnesium is the most effective place to start for headaches and any muscle pain. Keep me updated with how he is feeling and if you need more recommendations.

  • Dear Alex,

    I am an 18yr old girl who suffered a very severe concussion that my neurologist diagnosed as a severe TBI. It was from a gymnastics accident in August 2015 in which I flew back 12ft spinning in the tuck position and rammed my body headfirst into a concrete pit covered by only a couple inches of foam, and then bounced onto a trampoline unconscious. The ER completely misdiagnosed me and sent me home when in reality I needed a thoracic spinal fusion and had a very bad concussion. I had to medically withdraw from college due to this and I am still far from healed. I have never had a day without headaches or pain. I have extreme headaches and stabbing pain, face pain, ear pain, jaw pain, finally got rid of my double vision but eye pain when I do eye exercises, balance issues, dizziness, neck pain, left arm pain, numbness, tingling, and burning down my left arm and in my face and head, rib pain, sternum pain, trouble sleeping, etc.. After 7mo the bad dreams and nightmares finally stopped, and I’ve had many dreams in which I literally feel pain. According to their cognitive exams, I am fine there.. But I scored 99th percentile and am very bright, so I do not feel that is an accurate assessment for me. I don’t remember things as well as I used to and am often confused. I’ve had a very poor medical experience with rude, careless doctors and a neurologist who told me I’d never heal. I finally got a different one, but he wants to try Botox injections into my head. I want to be cured and back to normal and would rather heal in a natural way without being stuffed with medicine. I’ve been on amitriptyline, topimirate, and duloxetine, but none have helped and they actually made my headache pain worse when I was on them. Thank you for this article though! What regimen would you recommend?

    • Hi Alanna,

      That is one of the more tragic concussion stories I have heard. I can’t even begin to understand what you have been through. There are too many stories of doctors telling patients that they will never heal, and then the patient makes a complete recovery. Never underestimate your body’s ability to heal.

      As you can understand, it is very challenging for me to give you an accurate regiment without knowing exacty what is wrong, and where the most damage is occurring from. But it also doesn’t sound like you are getting much help. If you look at the diagram on the right of the wikipedia page, you will see a facial nerve. See how it triggers from the brain and enervates different parts of the face, ear, jaw, down the neck and elsewhere in the body? It also sounds like REM sleep may be stimulating the part of the brain where the injury is, leading to the pain during sleep and likely the nightmares. If you don’t have a brain scan, the nerve path gives us a clue.

      I don’t feel like I can do you justice without digging deeper. I try to answer as much as possible without suggestions for an appointment, but I think this is one of those circumstances where it is necessary. If you want set up an appointment at Swanson Health Center, I would be happy to look at everything and put together a comprehensive plan of action.

      • I live in Illinois, so I’m not sure I’d be able to come out to California. I’ve been seeing neurologists and neuro-ophthalmologists at the Washington University Concussion Clinic in STL but I haven’t made much progress- in fact I feel worse is many ways. My ability to read without increased pain and my vision are the only two things that have really improved. We were thinking about visiting the Mayo Clinic if nothing else starts progressing soon. I recently had a cervical and sternoclavicular MRI and the only thing they found with the neck was mild degenerative desiccation signal changes in some of my vertebrae. We haven’t heard back about the chest though. I was hoping that a lot of my problems could be caused by my neck so I wouldn’t have to get those Botox injections. I do have an MRI of my brain but they said they didn’t see anything.

        • Hi Alanna,

          Thank you, the more information the better. From what I’ve seen, it is often the injury to the neck that is causing lingering headaches. Yours seem to have multiple possible etiologies based on the sites of pain. Have you had any body work done for realignment? If you want to do anything by phone, feel free to reach out.

          • I’ve been seeing an osteomyologist who is also a coach that I know and he has been great. I had an extremely inflamed vertebrae that was very painful and looked like a big lump on the back of my neck since my accident, and when I asked my spine surgeon about it he said it was just inflammation that still needs to go down.. Even a week after the accident I was worried by it and they took xrays and said everything was fine. Turns out some were out of place and the coach was working on my back and a huge pop resulted. Within mere hours the neck lump was gone! Several others have been misaligned but we are working on getting blood flow back and stretching the muscles as opposed to immediately popping them back in. I would love to consult by phone if possible!

  • My daughter has TBI due to child abuse by her caretakers at 2 months of age, she was on life support and not expected to live, she defied the odds but was left blind and serverly disabled, she was perfectly healthy when she was born. I was told that her brain would not grow and that her skull would eventually cave in and be deformed, this also did not happen and her brain has been growing, I am told that the reason she is blind is because her brain is not allowing her to see, among her other disabilities (can not sit up or walk, had a fractured back and broken ribs, had a stroke that affected one side and then years later and 50-60 seizures a day it was discovered that she had a broken hip, had surgery and has not had a seizure since) she has exceptional smell and hearing what a gift it would be to have sight <3

    • Hi Diane,

      Just when I think the stories cannot be more heart breaking. I am so sorry for what you and your daughter have had to endure. It is very encouraging to hear that her brain in growing, showing the strength and resiliance of her body. I always tell people that we continually underestimate the mind and body’s ability to heal. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  • My number one recommendation for post-concussion recovery is Taurine powder…

    Concussion raises Potassium levels in the medulla Olb63logata & the Heart in a dangerous way which can affect the heart…

    In the hospital, immediate supplementation of Taurine powder in juice(it is tasteless), can prevent heart failure…

    Taurine acts like B12 which raises the dangerously low levels of blood pressure that high potassium causes…

    Potassium & B12(Aurum Au) are opposites…

    The Grove Brain Part Chart can be seen on our website…


    Grove Health Science(9 books now) can be read free on the site…

    We are artists who are re-writing medicine to improve comprehension for those who are looking to DIY…

  • Thanks for this, useful place to start after a concussion. I’m using music, dance, yoga, drawing, etc. along with taking the opportunity to address any ancient emotional traumas that might be more close to the surface using holotropic breathwork techniques.

    What do you think of the FDA’s position on these supplements?

    The FDA is often feels like a shill for big pharma at worst and just bad at science at best, but curious on your thoughts.

    Also, it would be nice if the FDA could provide studies which found negative results.

    • Hi Anthony,

      As you noticed, their article comes up right above mine in Google. My impression of the FDA article is that they have a problem with a supplement company making any time of claim that their product prevents or cures concussions. A few years back, the FDA told a walnut company that they couldn’t make omega-3 health claims backed by studies because they were being “promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs.” So it is a company making a claim on their bottle that they won’t approve of. However, like the research behind omega-3’s for cardiovascular health, the research behind specific vitamins and minerals for concussions are not false claims. What I would like to see, is for researchers to use this data for larger clinical trails and start making more progress for those who need it.

  • My daughter has had a headache for 3.5 years ever since her 2 concussions that were not diagnosed. You asked me to email you.

  • I had a major concussion 5 years ago and my head still hurts and I can’t function motorly or cognitively as well anymore!! Should I consider myself as having parkinsons disease?

    • Hi Sarah,

      I am so sorry to hear that. That would require a doctor to diagnose. If you are able to provide more information from your doctor, I may be able to help.

  • Hiya……I had a sudden loss of consciousness and fell hitting the back and left side of my head, my husband found me in what appeared to be a tonic-clinic seizure. I had a second seizure about an hour later. I was taken to hospital and had extensive investigations. I suffered a laceration at the occipital part of my skull that required 20 sutures.
    I have had numerous CTs, MRIs, Echcardiogram, and had a cardiac catherization…..all of which were relatively normal. I suffer from continuous headaches, vertigo, motor and cognitive issue and I have been referred to the TBI rehab clinic. My TBI Doctor has suggested Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, and Vitamin B2 and I am slowing tapering off my Keppra and Ketoralac.
    Any suggestions….are they all on the right track?
    Thank you in advance for any help!

    • Hi Y’vonne,

      Your TBI doctor is on the right track. Have you had your homocysteine levels checked? Magnesium and riboflavin (B2) are often both used for migraines/headaches. However, folate, B6 and B12 are also important to keep inflammation down, measured by homocysteine. Magnesium works better with B6, and B12 can often help with vertigo. Zinc and fish oil may also be important for cognitive recovery.

    • Any comment would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sorry thank you for your input….much appreciated.

  • hello,

    have suffered numerous concussions (15+) in the past 10 years…all from alcohol-influenced violence (fights (always on the losing end), assaults (i.e. taking a pool cue to the back of the head, etc.), self-harm (repeatedly punching head, smashing head against walls), accidents (passing out backwards and smacking head against pavement, etc.)…
    not until the last concussion (three men beat me senseless) did i go the hospital. had i went after the very first concussion & was properly educated on the long-term effects of concussions, i would have quit drinking & sought help for my anger.
    this last beating lead me to become legit suicidal. crying uncontrollably. fits of absolute rage. anxiety so bad i felt like i was going into shock. i had to be hospitalized for over a week. i was prescribed lithium, cipralex & a benzo. the only thing i took when i got home was the benzo before bed. for the first few days. otherwise, i would have ended up back in the hospital.
    luckily i’ve gotten better (to where i don’t want to kill myself)…but everything else (the anxiety, the rage) persists.
    i’ve dealt with depression, anxiety, social-withdrawal, short-term memory problems, balance problems/dizziness, ringing in ears, poor sleep, etc. …for the past decade. . . and about 3-4 months ago, major bruxism. & also severe agitation. . . but this last concussion really took a lot out of me. it changed me. i am lucky to be here.
    anyway…i am convinced I have CTE. & i don’t think a vitamin/supplement in the world can help. nothing can help me. but i will try. curcumin, b-complex. omega-3 fish oil & d-3. hope it does something…
    i have lived a life like no other. & now i suffer. kids, don’t try this at home. it’s a living hell.

    • Hi Brian,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with others and to see you are taking the steps towards recovery and a better life. I’m sure many people will come across this and be encouraged to make healhy changes in their life.

      A key statement you made was if you had been properly educated on the long-term effects of concussions you would have quit drinking and sought help for your anger. I agree 100% with you. Education is huge. While it may not seem like any vitamin or supplement can help you, know that there is a lot of research behind nutrition and mental health. For example, heavy alcohol consumption causes a deficiency in B1, folate, B12, vitamin C, magnesium and disrupts gut flora. All of these are tied to healthy neurotransmitters and brain function. If you are interested in reading more about the link, check out the article Mental Health Starts in the Gut, Not the Brain. I would discuss any supplementation with your doctor first.

      Small steps forward lead to major progress. I wish you the best in your recovery.

  • HI Alex – thanks for the great research. My son just started college football (freshman) and got a concussion on Monday 🙁 This will be his 3rd one (first in 8th grade, 2nd in 10th grade). What would you recommend he take? The trainer instructed him rest & Advil for his headaches (has had a constant headache & is still nauseous). I want to provide him anything I can to help with the long term affects this may have on him. Thanks for your advice!


    • Hi Destiny,

      I’m very sorry to hear that. I would consider Nordic Naturals fish oil I have listed (if it doesn’t affect his nausea) C-Salts vitamin C and magnesium glcyinate to use for inflammation and headaches, and to continue throughout his athletic career. I would also consider hydrating with Gerolsteiner mineral water, which is carbonated and can help with nausea. Ginger can be helpful as well for nausea and inflammation. If you have a Whole Foods or other store that carries Kevita, they make a ginger turmeric probiotic drink that would be great.

  • I have patented the first formula to treat concussions. The website and product is and the 60-athlete study showed a decrease in symptoms by a factor of three.
    Please add to your list

    Thank you,
    Matthew Bennett

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