Depending on your needs or diagnoses, there are many memory supplements to choose from. Here are four of the most popular memory loss supplements.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oil has been shown to be an effective memory supplement for early-stage dementia patients. Studies have shown that taking this supplement daily can improve memory and verbal skills within six months. If you’re not experiencing any cognitive issues and you’re getting enough fish oil in your diet, for example by eating fatty fish like tuna about twice a week, there is no evidence that fish oil will improve your mental acuity. If you’re healthy and still want to take fish oil for any reason, such as not having access to fatty fish very often, talk to your doctor about your options.
One of the most interesting memory loss supplements is flavanols. Flavanols are found in chocolate and are linked to improved cognition, thinking skills and memory in adult patients who were experiencing mild cognitive decline. You can take flavanols in supplement form or as part of your diet in the form of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s quite common for people to mix the powder into drinks. Be careful with your dosage, as there is a risk of the powder being contaminated with cadmium. If you take the powder, limit yourself to one drink per day. Supplements that come as pills, extracts or in other receptacles are more purified than the powder. In studies, flavanol supplements were shown to begin to take effect about eight weeks after you begin to take them.
Curcumin is found in turmeric and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In a study of people experiencing minor memory loss, patients who took a curcumin supplement daily for eighteen months reported significant memory and cognition improvements. Additionally, some markers of Alzheimer’s Disease, such as amyloid buildup in the brain, were shown to be reduced in these patients’ brains. Curcumin is available in a supplement form, and since it’s also a major component of turmeric you also have the option to buy that spice at the grocery store and add it to your meals.
4. B Vitamins
B vitamins are a class of vitamins that your body requires to function properly. If you have a B vitamin deficiency, particularly in B12 or B6, you may experience symptoms of cognitive decline. This is because B vitamins cushion your neurons. Luckily, this type of memory issue is an easy fix. You just need to take a B vitamin supplement or get more B vitamins in your diet. Your doctor will want to test your B vitamin levels, especially if you’re on a vegan diet or over fifty. If your levels are low, your doctor may suggest a temporary supplement regimen or an increase in B vitamin-rich foods. After a period of time, you may need your levels tested again to see if your deficiency has cleared up or requires more treatment.
It’s important to discuss your options with your doctor before beginning to take supplements of any kind. Your options may depend on your diagnosis, any allergies you have or any medications you already take that a supplement might interact with.