Introduction: The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, with a high and constant demand for inputs. Adequate nutrition is essential for the complete functioning of the brain, not only due to the energy supply, mainly from carbohydrates, but also due to the adequate supply of other macronutrients and micronutrients for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and protein components. Vitamins, minerals, and other components of the diet also constitute the so-called “neuro-nutrients”.
Objective: It was to develop a systematic review to highlight key neuro-nutrients and clinical studies that direct strategies for adequate nutritional status.
Methods: The rules of the Systematic Review-PRISMA Platform were followed. The research was carried out from October 2021 to February 2022 and developed based on Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct, Scielo, and Google Scholar. The quality of the studies was based on the GRADE instrument and the risk of bias was analyzed according to the Cochrane instrument.
Results: A total of 234 articles were found and 167 articles were evaluated in full, and 118 were included and evaluated in the present study. According to the GRADE instrument, most studies (>50%) followed a controlled clinical study model and had a good methodological design. The overall assessment resulted in 54 studies with a high risk of bias to the small sample size. The most important macronutrients in neuro-nutrition are phosphatidylserine and tryptophan. Micronutrients are methyl folate, vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, arginine, choline, and niacin.
Conclusion: The areas of neurology and psychiatry have shown great advances regarding the deepening of knowledge in prophylaxis and pathophysiology, as well as in the treatment of established diseases. The recognition of the role of nutrition as an adjunct to these processes is currently growing. The search in scientific bases for neuro nutrients reveals a great growth of publications related to this theme. In the present text, some of these nutrients were explored to verify the current state of knowledge.
Keywords: Micronutrients, Macronutrients, Neuronutrients, Neuronutrition, Central nervous system, Clinical trials, Brain health