Memory loss can be caused by various issues, including dementia and deficiencies in various vitamins and minerals, so you should figure out the cause before trying different supplements. Here are five facts about memory loss supplements.
1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
While the most commonly known reason for memory issues is dementia, there are certain vitamin deficiencies that can cause a decline in memory and cognition too, particularly B12 deficiencies. This type of cognitive issue doesn't necessarily happen due to aging. It can be caused by any diet or absorption issue that doesn't provide enough vitamin B12 to your body. A common cause is an inadequate vegan diet. There are sufficient testing options to check your B12 levels, and if your doctor finds you have a deficiency, you can take a vitamin B12 supplement which should improve your memory. Keep in mind that if you have sufficient levels of vitamin B12, taking more won't give cognition an extra boost.
2. Diet-based Suppmenetation
There are many options available for memory loss supplements. Some are dietary supplements and some you can get through changes to your diet itself. For example, some common supplements are fish oil, curcumin and flavanols. All of these supplements are available in supplement form at a pharmacy or in various foods, spices and herbs you can add to your diet. Foods like fish and cocoa powder and spices like turmeric are what these supplements are derived from, so if you add them to your diet in appropriate amounts, you can gain the same benefits. You should be careful with fish and cocoa powder consumption. Fish can be contaminated with compounds like mercury and cocoa powder may be contaminated with cadmium, so choose brands and types wisely. The supplement forms may be more purified but unlike medications they are not regulated by the FDA, so be careful choosing those as well.
3. A Slow Burn
Memory loss supplements don't provide an immediate brain boost. You can't take one before an exam to help you ace it, for example. Instead, memory loss supplements are meant to help you preserve cognitive function and slow memory degeneration. When you take supplements or make lifestyle changes to benefit your brain, don't worry about immediate results because it's more likely you'll see results over time. Additionally, like many aspects of health, what you do when you're young can deliver benefits as you age. If you begin taking care of your brain and your memory when you're young with supplements or lifestyle changes, that's likely to help preserve your cognition later in life.
4. Additional Tools
Taking a memory-boosting supplement isn't the only thing you should do to prevent or slow memory loss. You should take a supplement in conjunction with other tools, such as a good healthy diet, exercise, high-quality sleep and mental exercise. Avoid excessive fried foods and sugar, sleep for at least seven hours nightly, do some form of moderate or strenuous exercise every day and do activities such as reading or puzzles that strengthen your mental acuity.
Talk to your doctor before trying any memory loss supplements. He or she will be able to help you determine which supplements are best for you.