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9 Vitamins & Supplements to Improve Your Memory

Does this describe you: You walk into the living room to getsomething, only to get there and forget what you needed? Youoften hear "Yes, you already told me about that" or maybe youthought you told someone, but you never actually verbalized it.Someone tells you their name and then ninety seconds later yousay, "Ok, tell me your name again."

Perhaps you're not as young as you used to be, you have more onyour plate to keep track of or you have a diagnosed or evenundiagnosed medical condition. Whatever the reason, you seem tobe plagued with a bad case CRS - Can't Remember Squat. First andforemost if you haven't had a physical exam in a while, go seeyour doctor. You'll want to rule out anything serious that maybe causing your CRS. Barring any serious findings, you can takesome herbs, vitamins and other supplements to help regain some ofyour memory. The vitamins, herbs and supplements listed belowmay help.

Essential Fatty Acids, otherwise known as fish oils or EPA-DHAare well known for their anti-inflammatory activity. Furthermore,DHA is required for normal brain function in adults. Decreases inbrain DHA content are associated with age-related cognitivedecline, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.

Studies suggest that Polyphenol found in the skins of red grapesand various other plants may protect against inflammation andcognitive disorders.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is also an excellent antioxidant agent inneurodegenerative diseases due to the fact that it can interruptfree radical damage at several points. It has been shown toelevate antioxidants in various brain regions and improvesmemory. Further, ALA supports healthy blood glucose levels andinsulin activity.

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant cofactor that has been shown toprotect the brain. In addition to being a potent free radicalscavenger, CoQ10 has proven to be effective in a wide variety ofage-related conditions.

Vitamin E is the primary antioxidant found in all tissues. Lowvitamin E levels are consistently associated with an increasedrisk and occurrence of neurological diseases, includingAlzheimer's and Parkinson's. In a study of patients withAlzheimer's, treatment with 2000 IU of vitamin E per day for 2years was beneficial in delaying the primary outcome (time to theoccurrence of death, institutionalization, loss of ability toperform activities of daily living, and severe dementia) ofdisease progression.

Ginkgo biloba extract is an approved treatment for dementia inGermany, and it is the only nonprescription substance considereda treatment for dementia in Canada. Ginkgo biloba is one extractreadily available. It enhances mental efficiency in elderlypatients with mild to moderate memory impairment. It is alsoshown to improve cognitive function in patients with dementia, toenhance blood flow to the brain, enhances cognitive performancein patients with Alzheimer's disease. Further it is said toenhance memory in young individuals.

Adaptogenic herbs have been shown to reduce the negative effectsof stress. Due to the decreased ability to handle stress and theincreased levels of glucocorticoids associated with aging andneurodegeneration, herbs with adaptogenic properties may bebeneficial. Ayurvedic herbs such as ashwagandha, holy basil, andbrahmi have a positive influence on stress response, mentalfunction, and cognition.

Carotenoids are a class of naturally occurring plant pigmentsthat provide the bright red, orange, and yellow colors of fruitsand vegetables. A balanced intake of mixed carotenoids, as foundin a healthy diet, provides the best protection against oxidativedamage.

Folate and vitamins B6 and B12 are needed for proper brainfunction. Insufficiencies of these nutrients may result inforgetfulness, memory loss, confusion, depression, dementia, andmood and sensory changes. One study stated that age-relatedimpairment of cognitive function is likely related to vitamindeficiencies, and is "preventable or reversible with improvedvitamins, especially vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate."

Additionally, scientists searching for a cure for Alzheimer'sdisease have found a potential ally in the herb sage. Checkingthe writings of herbalists working four centuries ago, scientistsin England found a marked improvement in the memory capabilitiesof Alzheimer's patients who took sage oil extract. The findingwas consistent with a discovery by researchers at theUniversities' Medicinal Plant Research Center that sage protectsa key chemical destroyed in Alzheimer's.

This list is not all inclusive and there could be a number ofother factors (environment, diet, disease) that could be the rootcause of your CRS. However, starting with a few supplements mayhelp you remember where you left your car keys!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.


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