Nootropic supplements are designed to preserve the mind with aging. They help improve blood circulation to your brain and claim to increase memory and concentration. Before talking about some supplements that are likely to improve memory, it is important to understand that the best way to preserve your mental health is through healthy eating and regular exercise. Studies have shown that people on a Mediterranean-style diet and exercising regularly are less likely to deal with dementia and cognitive decline. Similarly, there is no strong evidence suggesting that supplements can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but experts believe that certain practices like doing regular exercise, controlling high blood pressure, and performing memory-training exercises can help delay memory loss.
Nootropic supplements are popular because people can take them on the go. You do not need to take out hours out of your busy schedule to do anything. You just need to pop a pill with certain ingredients and you are good to go. Furthermore, statistics show that 1 in every 5 adults now have a mental health condition, which means that you now have more than 40 million Americans with mental health problems. Here are some supplements that may help improve memory and prevent mental health complications.
It is a modified form of the amino acid carnitine, and is believed to help Alzheimer’s patient with memory related problems. It works by creating a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is responsible for memory, learning, and many other brain functions. Some studies suggest that people with early onset of the disease may benefit more from ALCAR supplementation. It has a neuroprotective effect on your brain and works effectively to slow down the ageing process. Studies have also shown that ALCAR helps reduce depression symptoms better than prescription antidepressants. You may have to take 630-2,500mg of ALCAR a day to treat mental health issues.
Also called ALA, it is supposed to improve mental health by working as an antioxidant. By preventing oxidative damage, it prevents neurodegenerative diseases. At the same time, supplementing with ALA regulates blood glucose levels, which in turn promotes better cellular functions and brain health.
Supplementing with vitamin E may help you deal with Alzheimer’s better. Studies have confirmed that vitamin E works quite effectively to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. While it is effective, you may want to talk to your doctor before administering high doses of vitamin-E.
It is basically a natural supplement and a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for memory and learning. Studies show that it supports the developing of short-term and episodic memory. Other studies have confirmed that supplementing with Alpha GPC improves the levels of serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and other neurotransmitters. You may have to take up to 300-600mg of alpha GPC to see its positive results.
This nootropic herb is quite popular in traditional medicine, and is supposed to promote longevity and cognitive function. Supplementing with bacopa monnieri may help reduce anxiety, which in turn improve cognition and memory. Studies show that while bacopa takes up to 4-6 weeks to take effect, but it almost always helps improve memory and prevent cognitive decline. A study has shown that supplementing with 300mg of bacopa a day has helped people over the age of 55 years see improvement in memory acquisition, verbal learning, and delayed recall.
This nootropic supplement is supposed to offer many benefits for intelligence and brain health. Not many side effects are associated with citicoline, which makes it more popular. Studies show that taking 250-2,000mg of citicoline may help increase mental energy, boost memory, and help improve learning. Some studies have also found that citicoline may work better than piracetam at improving concentration, memory, and focus.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient found in turmeric, and it is supposed to help improve concentration and memory. Studies show that curcumin increases blood flow and supports neurotransmitter formation to improve cognitive function. To enjoy good results, be sure to opt for a curcumin supplement that includes specific techniques and processes to improve its bioavailability. Ideally, you should be taking up to 400-600mg of curcumin thrice a day to see positive effects.
Often used for immune function, erectile dysfunction, and memory, ginseng, or panax, ginseng is also among the list of supplements that does produce positive effects. It is supposed to boost mental focus and energy along with improving sleep quality, mood, and endurance. Some studies have found that taking 100-400mg of ginseng a day may help improve mental performance in Alzheimer’s patients. It is supposed to work even better when used in combination with gingko biloba.
It is an important supplement because it is supposed to be a reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase. It works by protecting the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from damage. Huperzine A is an approved drug to treat vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s in countries like China. You should be taking 50-200mcg a day to see its effects.
Magnesium is an important dietary mineral, and magnesium L-threonate is its synthesised version. Studies show that magnesium L-threonate generates synaptic activity that improves memory recall, especially in older people. Studies have also shown that supplementing with magnesium also helps with conditions, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, acute brain injury, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. You should be taking up to 1,000mg twice a day to experience its effects.
The supplement serves as a source of L-Dopa, which your brain uses to produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain would improve mood and promote feelings of pleasure. That is another reason why some studies have found that supplementing with 500-1,000mg of mucuna purines may help improve concentration and energy metabolism.
Very low levels of dopamine may lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease. People who are unmotivated, unfocused, or lethargic may benefit from this supplement.
Omega3s are important for your overall health but your body can only obtain it from the food you eat. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation and lower risk of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Reduced intake of omega3s increases your risk of dementia and age-related cognitive decline. The amount of EPA and DHA present in omega3s determine how effective the supplement is going to prove. DHA is actually a very important structural component of your brain and its deficiency can cause your brain to shrink (Source). Fish oil is a good source of both DHA and EPA, and many studies have confirmed that it helps improve mood, memory, and mental well-being. You may have to take up to 1,000mg or DHA per day to see effects.
It is a type of lipid or fat and is present in all cell membranes. The highest concentration of Phosphatidylserine is in the brain cells, so supplementing with it may help improve brain function by supporting communication between neurons. It not only improves brain function but also supports better memory storage. Some studies have shown that supplementing with Phosphatidylserine is a good idea because it reduces levels of stress hormone cortisol, and improves concentration and focus. Other studies have found it beneficial against ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease. You may have to take up to 100mg of Phosphatidylserine thrice a day.
Commonly used to increase stamina and energy, but some studies have also found it effective against mental health conditions. It may help reduce depression symptoms and anxiety. It is also an adaptogen and makes it easier for your body to cope with environmental, physical, and chemical stress. A study has found that taking 200mg of rhodiola twice a day for 4 weeks may help reduce work-related stress and fatigue. It reduces anxiety by lowering levels of cortisol, but also works by increasing levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. You may have to take up to 600mg a day to yield positive results.
Regular intake of Vinpocetine may help improve cognitive functions, and boost short-term and long-term memory. It also enhances awareness, alertness, and preparedness. It protects your brain from oxidative damage and works to reduce senile cerebral dysfunction. To see maximum benefits, you may have to take up to 10mg thrice a day. Studies show that Vinpocetine is effective because it is absorbed quickly into the brain, and increases levels of Vinpocetine in the brain to improve cognitive function. Some experts are of the view that Vinpocetine may help treat Alzheimer’s to some extent, but more research is needed. Be sure to take it with meals for proper absorption.
In addition to these, there are many other nootropic supplements that promise better memory and cognitive function. The problem is that most of those supplements are not scientifically tested and others may cause some specific side effects. For instance, galantamine may be effective but is not recommended for minor memory loss because of serious side effects. Ginkgo biloba was supposed to improve memory and cognition, but it has failed to perform well in studies. MCT oil and resveratrol have their benefits, but they work for as long as you keep taking them. It is important to mention caffeine here because it is stimulates your central nervous system and does improve concentration, energy, and memory to a certain extent, but it can be habit-forming and cause some serious side effects, including increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, and more.
The fact of the matter is that it is easy to find a long list of brain-boosting supplements in the market, mainly because they are not regulated by the FDA, and there is no way to tell if they are really going to fulfil all the promises they make. Some supplements may help because they have some scientific studies to support their use, but it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement, even if the manufacturer says it uses natural ingredients.
When in doubt, just avoid using these supplements and pay more attention to making healthy lifestyle changes. That is always a better choice!