Health & Wellness

Are There Natural Brain And Memory Boosting Supplements?

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Shiny brainWhether you are a student, athlete, professional, or anything in between, your brain is the biggest asset. It is critical to performance and success in everything. Yet, most people overlook it when looking for health information and products. So, are there nutritional supplements could boost brain function and memory?

As we age, retaining information and learning new skills becomes more challenging. Often we assume that this is simply a natural part of growing older. Can this “natural” process be slowed down if not avoided?

One of the reasons for age-related cognitive function, memory decline, and conditions such as dementia is nutritional deficit,[1] and the fact that we absorb nutrients less readily than in our youth.

To that end, a great deal of research has been devoted to understanding what nutrients support brain health and aid in memory retention or new skill acquisition.

No Single Nutrient

Brain health isn’t a matter of simply taking a single supplement or adding one food to your diet. Research indicates that healthy brain function relies on a complex cocktail of vitamins, minerals, and what have been dubbed “neural nutrients”.

Substances such as vitamin B12 and folic acid may work in tandem with essential fatty acids omega-3 or 6 to streamline function, improve memory retention, and provide necessary energetic reserves.

Much of the difficulty with memory as we age is tied to factors such as attention span and focus. Supplements that include folate, B12 and B5, gingko and other botanical extracts and amino acids, function may enhance these natural capabilities, which are often overtaxed by the demands of our modern life busy lifestyle.[2]

Another vital role of brain supplements fulfill is that of detoxification. Recent research has indicated that the brain, previously thought isolated from the rest of the body’s lymphatic system, is actually quite connected to this vital network that controls immune response and toxicity filtration.

Honestly, supplements cannot give you new talents or abilities. No supplement will make you better at problem solving if you were poor at it before. What they may give you is the clarity to use your brain’s natural abilities and potentially improve at any age.

How Supplements May Help Your Brain And Memory

Brain boosting supplements are becoming extremely popular. Although many so-called brain boosters in the market contain substances that are lacking in scientific studies, certain nutrients have been found to potentially benefit your brain and memory. These work in a number of ways:

  • Support neuroplasticity: Also known as brain plasticity or brain malleability, this refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and form new neural connections. This ability was thought to occur during early developmental, but studies now show it continues throughout life.[3]
  • Support neurogenesis: This is the growth of new brain cells.[4]
  • Improve blood flow to the brain: Reduced blood flow has been linked to certain types of age-related mental conditions such as dementia.[5]
  • Decrease mental fatigue: Stress and brain fatigue often lead to less than optimal performance in virtually anything including exams, sports, and work.
  • Detoxification: Clearing toxins and waste products from your brain may help improve brain function and memory.

Like you muscles and the rest of your body, your brain requires the right nutrients and adequate rest to perform at its best. Brain and memory supplements may not exactly turn you into an Einstein, but they may help maximize your potential.


References:

[1] NIH: Nutritional management of older adults with cognitive decline and dementia

[2] UCLA: Scientists learn how what you eat affects your brain

[3] Stanford: Neuroplasticity

[4] Wikipedia: Neurogenesis

[5] Alzheimer’s Association: Vascular Dementia

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