Supplements To Help Brain Function
Noticing a decline in mental abilities is one of the first signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to recent reports, 1 in 9 Americans over the age of 45 notice decreased memory. The good news is that living a healthy lifestyle can help improve memory and reduce dementia risk. In addition, some supplements can provide memory-boosting benefits.
1. Boost memory with fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to many health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health. There are two types of fatty acids: DHA and EPA. While both are important for overall health, DHA has been shown to be particularly important for improved memory skills, cognition, and reflex skills. One of the best ways to get adequate omega-3s is to eat fatty fish two times per week. Some people, such as those who eat a vegetarian diet, may struggle to get enough omega-3s. In these cases, a fish oil supplement may be beneficial.
2. This herb may improve dementia
Research is ongoing, but some studies have shown that gingko biloba could have positive effects on reducing symptoms of dementia. While the supplement has not been shown to prevent memory loss, the herb may help those who already are experiencing early stages of dementia. This herb is available in pills, teas, tablets, and fortified foods. While the supplement is typically safe, there is some risk of blood-thinning. People should consult with a healthcare provider or pharmacist before starting a gingko biloba supplement.
3. Preventing Alzheimer’s with B12
Having adequate levels of B12 has been linked to improved memory function and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is no evidence that additional B12 will boost a person’s memory if that person already has adequate B12 levels. Some people who have challenges with digestion or who are vegetarians may be at higher risk for deficiency in this vitamin. In these cases, some people may benefit from a B-complex supplement.
4. Improve overall brain function with vitamin E
There is some evidence that adequate levels of vitamin E can help to improve cognition. One study found that people with early stages of Alzheimer’s saw symptom improvement with a vitamin E supplement. Vitamin E can be a blood-thinner, so people at risk for cardiovascular disease are typically not advised to take this supplement. Additionally, vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, dark-colored fruits, and many vegetables, so deficiency is not common. Patients should consult with a healthcare provider before starting a vitamin E supplement.
Memory loss is not normal
Cognitive decline does not have to be a normal part of aging. People can improve memory and brain function through a healthy diet, exercise, and some possible supplementation. Speak with a healthcare provider or pharmacist to find out what memory-boosting supplements may be beneficial.