Over the last decade, as numbers of Alzheimer’s patients have grown, so have the memory supplements on the market. While heart disease and diabetes are two of the most prevalent diseases in the United States, memory loss is a close third. Whether we worry about having Alzheimer’s in the future, occasionally become forgetful (short-term memory loss), or developing dementia, such reasons encourage us to keep our minds intact as we grow older.
But the big question is: do these memory supplements work? Or are we just wasting our time and money on supplements that do not give us a major return? An equally important question to ask is: are these supplements safe?
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know before choosing a memory supplement. We will also give you our picks for the best memory supplements so you can find the ones worth buying. Let’s get started!
What Are Memory Supplements?
Memory supplements are products that promise to enhance our cognition, and specifically, our memory. This is achieved based on the substances and active ingredients in each of the supplements.
We are going to discuss some of these ingredients that show promising effects for boosting your memory or improving your cognition in any way. While there are research studies to back-up each ingredient we share, it’s important to note that most of this research is relatively new.
So, when we talk about memory supplements, it’s important that you do not expect sudden boosts in your memory, but more of a gradual increase, or a long-lasting effect.
Nevertheless, these ingredients do have positive effects on our cognition, they simply need further research. The following are some of the ingredients that go into memory-boosting supplements that can help you with your cognition.
1) Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is one of the most-commonly known supplements when it comes to memory enhancement.
This supplement shows to have promising effects when it comes to one’s memory and overall cognition. In fact, Ginkgo Biloba is even used for curing a certain type of dementia in some countries in Europe. However, more research is needed to see the healing or preventive effects of Ginkgo Biloba against dementia, and how it can really help us with our memory and cognition.
2) Huperzine A
Huperzine A is a natural medicine that is known to work similarly to Alzheimer’s drugs do. The supplement, that’s derived from the Chinese club moss Huperzia Serrata, acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor. This means that it works similarly to a type of medication that improves the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. This is promising for those that have Alzheimer’s or those that are trying to lessen the blow of the disease.
However, not only that more research is needed to see the effects of Huperzine A on our cognition, taking too much of the ingredient (if improperly dosed) can lead to serious side effects.
3) Asian Ginseng
Another herb that has a similar reputation to Ginkgo Biloba, is Asian ginseng. It is a well-known herb when it comes to curing fatigue and improving the quality of one’s overall life but also to the impact it can have on cognitive health.
In a 2013 study, it showed that “the subjects in the ginseng-treated group showed significant improvement on the visual learning test and the visual recall test after 6 months of P. ginseng treatment compared with the placebo group.”
4) Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known for their heart health benefits, but studies show that they can also benefit our memory and cognition as well. Specifically, taking high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as cold-water fish, English walnuts, and another omega 3-rich nut and plant oils are linked to a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
However, just like with other supplements on this list, further research is needed to see how omega-3 fatty acids can affect our cognitive health.
5) Vitamin E
Vitamin E, a vitamin that is known for improving skin health, also shows promising effects on our cognitive health. When it comes to Alzheimer’s, while vitamin E does not lower our risk against the disease, it can slow its progression.
But be careful when taking high doses of vitamin E, as recent studies showed that high doses of vitamin E increased the risk of dying, especially to unhealthy people. It is best you consult your doctor first before taking the said supplement.
Memory Supplement Benefits
The obvious benefit of memory supplements is that it helps you improve your memory, slow or prevent memory-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and potentially improve your overall cognitive health.
But again, it’s important to stress that there is still a lot of research to be done on how these supplements really improve our memory and cognitive health.
One thing that is beneficial about these supplements is that they typically include a variety of herbs or nootropics that also benefit our bodies in other ways! For example, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, either through our diet or synthetically, can give you heart health benefits, as well as memory and cognitive benefits.
How To Take Memory Supplements
Most memory supplements come in pill form, so you’ll take them the same way you take your pill or capsule medicines. Some, and relatively less well-known forms, also come in liquid form or a powder form too.
You can also eat specific foods, like green leafy veggies, that are known for their benefits for the brain as well. Even if you are taking a memory-boosting supplement, its important to also each nutrient-dense foods.
Regardless of how you take it, always take note of the dose you’re taking. This is especially important if you are taking these supplements synthetically.
Do Memory Supplements Really Work?
Some memory supplements do work, however, take note of the fact that, again, it does not always work the way you might think it does.
Do not fall for memory supplement ads that promise an overall memory increase because there isn’t much research on this topic. Instead, look for supplements that promise an increase in cognition over time, or more longevity in the long run.
Lastly, always check the label of the supplements that you’re buying because some may not be truthful with what is actually included. It’s important to read the ingredients because they might say they include “L-Theanine” but ultimately might only have a very small dosage.
Are Memory Supplements Right For Me?
Some memory supplements are often “serious” supplements, and improper use can cause serious side effects. If you are planning to take memory supplements, it is best you consult your doctor before adding one to your routine.
Also, if you are pregnant or are suffering from a certain medical condition, consult your doctor as the supplement you’re about to take may cause unexpected side effects on your pregnancy or condition.
Best Memory Supplements
Alpha Brain ($80)
Alpha Brain helps with a variety of cognitive functions, including memory, mental speed, and focus. Using a blend of L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Phosphatidylserine, and Oat Straw extract, Onnit promises to deliver a high-quality and brain-boosting supplement.GET THE BEST PRICE ON ALPHA BRAIN
Mind Lab Pro ($65)
Mind Lab Pro® uses 11 specific memory-boosting nootropics that work in 6 bio-pathways to optimize different cognitive functions. These nootropics help with memory but they also aid in a variety of other activities that humans go through on a daily basis.GET THE BEST PRICE ON MIND LAB PRO
The most affordable option on this list, this memory supplement by Garden of Life, promises to help with increased learning, memory, alertness, and mood, as well as controlling body weight and energy metabolism. They also added Organic Turmeric and Whole Food Vitamin D3 plus our Organic Brain Health Lipid Blend for ultimate absorption.
Qualia Mind ($70)
Neurohacker uses 28 Vegan, Gluten-free and Non-GMO ingredients to create an excellent memory supplement. This supplement includes 6 Nootropic compounds, 7 Neuro-vitamins, 2 Antioxidants, 6 Adaptogen Extracts, and 5 Amino Acids. The blend is extremely high quality, made by a mix of scientists, doctors, and researchers.GET 15% OFF QUALIA MIND WITH CODE “FITNESSCLONE”
Memory Supplement Alternatives
The main alternative to taking memory supplements is taking various herbs, mushrooms, and nootropics that are typically included in memory supplements. Some stand-along herbs to look for including L-Theanine, Rosemary, Ginkgo, Gotu Kola, Lemon Balm, and more.
You can take these by themselves in capsule form, or you can buy most in a powder form as well. If you opt to buy them by themselves, you can add to them to smoothies, coffee, or even your morning tea.
If you are thinking about adding a memory supplement to your diet, now is a great time to try it out. Memory supplements are easy and safe supplements to test that carries a variety of benefits with it. If you start taking a memory supplement and experience any negative symptoms, contact a medical professional for help.