Maintaining our brain health is extremely important for our wellbeing but it’s not always easy to know the best ways to help our brain and memory stay in top-notch shape. Memory loss is something that concerns many of us, so what can you do to keep your brain and memory sharp as well as help stave off conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s as we age? While maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an essential way to help prevent memory loss, you can also boost your health efforts with supplements. Here’s what to look for when looking for supplements to help support your brain health and memory.
PS is a chemical that is already present within our bodies. While our bodies produce it naturally, the majority of PS we require comes from food, like soy, white beans, egg yolks, meat and fish. PS helps protect the cells within your brain and the signals that they send to each other, which is why it’s so essential for memory and general brain health. Studies have associated PS in improving memory recall in the elderly as well as helping memory decline in those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosatetraenoic Acid (EPA)
DHA and EPA are the two main types of fatty acids that been associated with improving and maintaining memory as well as helping prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s. Food that is rich in omega-3’s include cold-water fish, nuts and seeds like chia and walnuts, as well as plant and nut oils like flaxseed or soybean oil. Fish oil is commonly used in omega 3 supplements with studies showing that these supplements can play a role in improving DHA and EPA levels which may, in turn, assist with our brain health.
Ginseng may help to improve your mood as well as your brain function. Ginseng is a root that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, with the two most popular types being American ginseng and red Korean ginseng. Numerous studies have associated ginseng with improved mental function and mood and as has been shown to help slow cognitive deficits in those with Alzheimer’s.
Huperzine A, also called club moss, is a traditional Chinese herb that has shown to help improve specific neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for memory storage and retrieval and could help slow the process of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Huperzine A is also a icholinesterase nhibitor, so it is not recommended that you take this supplement with other cholinesterase inhibitors. Always ask your doctor before taking any supplementation.
B vitamins are responsible for a variety of things in our body and are generally associated with feelings of higher energy, immune function and cognitive abilities. B vitamins, especially B-12, B3 and, B9 can help keep you sharp. Those who have deficiencies in B vitamins are known to have decreased learning abilities, fatigue, and are easily distracted. B vitamins may also help fight off conditions like Alzheimer’s due to its ability to keep levels of an amino acid called homocysteine low, in which high levels of homocysteine have been linked to higher risks of dementia and heart disease.
Vitamin D may help in preventing dementia and cognitive decline. We usual get vitamin D from the sun but it is believed that most people are likely deficient in vitamin D due to our modern lifestyles and our outdoor climate. A study performed in 2014 found that those who were very low in vitamin D were two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Vitamin E may have the capacity to assist with memory and cognition in the elderly. One study performed on those who had mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease saw cognitive improvements after taking vitamin E supplements.