The Evidence on Brain Boosting Supplements: Do They Really Improve Memory?

Best supplements for memory

Supplements for brain health, or “smart drugs,” have a sizable market. By 2030, the market is projected to grow to a value of about $16 billion.

The claim made by brain health supplements to maintain or enhance memory is one of the main drivers behind consumer use of these goods. However, do they? What is the evidence suggesting?

Hersant and associates from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have reviewed memory supplements in a recent publication.

They go into detail about the potency of eighteen substances that are frequently used in over-the-counter brain enhancers. The following discusses their findings, which were published in CNS Drugs.

Looking Into Memory and Brain Health Supplementation

Following a thorough analysis of products available on the market (such as those sold at Whole Foods, CVS, and Amazon), the writers created a lengthy list (103 items) of memory supplements.

These goods’ most popular ingredients were listed and examined. At least one of the eighteen ingredients was included in every product on the list. Below is a list of them, along with a brief description. 

1. Apoaequorin: Some jellyfish contain the calcium-binding protein apoaequorin. Prevagen is a supplement that contains it. Unfortunately, other than the data supplied by Prevagen’s producer, there is not much clinical study on it.

2. Ashwagandha: Often referred to as winter cherry or Withania somnifera, this plant is frequently utilized in traditional Indian medicine. The herb ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. It may enhance memory in both healthy people and those with mild cognitive impairment, according to some Indian research. Additionally, you can also read about- 7 Brain Exercises to Improve Your Memory

3. Carnitine: Carnitine is an amino acid that is essential for energy synthesis and metabolism. There isn’t enough data, according to systematic reviews, to suggest that those experiencing cognitive loss should use carnitine supplements. 

4. Choline: Generally regarded as a necessary nutrient, choline serves a variety of purposes, most notably memory regulation. In healthy people, those with subjective memory issues, and those suffering from dementia, choline supplementation seems to help memory.

5. Coenzyme Q10: Known for its antioxidant qualities, CoQ10 is sometimes referred to as ubiquinone. On the other hand, no trustworthy data about CoQ10 supplementation reducing neurodegeneration and averting dementia has been found.

6. Coffee extracts: Both caffeine and coffee extracts seem to improve short-term memory. However, it is unclear if coffee can improve memory in the long run by lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or preventing cognitive decline.

7. Ginger: The plant, which has been used for hundreds of years as a food and spice, contains some components that may be beneficial to health, including anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, ginger may improve brain function. Ginger has been shown in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research to enhance middle-aged, healthy women’s working memory.

8. Ginkgo biloba: While ginkgo leaf extracts are used in alternative medicine for a variety of conditions (such as improved circulation), there isn’t any conclusive proof that they help stop dementia or memory loss. If you want you can also read- The Health Benefits of Eating Eggs Every Day

Which Nutrients Improve Brain Health and Memory?

The use of apoaequorin, coenzyme Q10, coffee extracts, L-theanine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12 supplementation was not supported by the data that was provided.

On the other hand, there has been data that suggests using supplements that contain the following eight ingredients: polyphenols, phosphatidylserine, ginger, ashwagandha, choline, curcumin, and turmeric.

Regarding carnitine, ginkgo biloba, huperzine A, and vitamins D and E, conflicting outcomes were seen.

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