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Top Natural Supplements for Brain Health!

02 January 2019

Top Natural Supplements for Brain Health!

 

By Erik Bredemeyer

 

Nootropics are natural supplements or drugs that have a beneficial effect on brain function in healthy people. Many of these can boost memory, motivation, creativity, alertness and general cognitive function. Nootropics may also reduce age-related declines in brain function. Here are the 10 best nootropic supplements to boost your brain function!

1. Fish Oils

 

Fish oil supplements are a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA), two types of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have been linked with many health benefits, including improved brain health. DHA plays a vital role in maintaining the structure and function of your brain. In fact, it accounts for around 25% of the total fat, and 90% of the omega-3 fat, found in your brain cells. The other omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil, EPA, has anti-inflammatory effects that may protect the brain against damage and aging.

 

Taking DHA supplements has been linked with improved thinking skills, memory and reaction times in healthy people who have low DHA intakes. It has also benefitted people experiencing a mild decline in brain function. Unlike DHA, EPA isn’t always linked with improved brain function. However, in people with depression, it has been associated with benefits like improved mood. Taking fish oil, which contains both these fats, has been shown to help reduce the decline in brain function associated with aging. However, evidence for fish oil’s preservative effects on brain health is mixed. The overall, the best way to get the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids is by eating two portions of oily fish per week. If you can’t manage this, then taking a supplement could be beneficial.

 

2. Resveratrol

 

Resveratrol is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in the skin of purple and red fruits like grapes, raspberries and blueberries. It’s also found in red wine, chocolate and peanuts. It’s been suggested that taking resveratrol supplements could prevent the deterioration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain associated with memory. If this is true, this treatment could slow down the decline in brain function you experience as you get older. Animal studies have also shown that resveratrol can improve memory and brain function. Additionally, one study on a small group of healthy older adults found that taking 200 mg of resveratrol per day for 26 weeks improved memory.

 

3. Caffeine

 

Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and dark chocolate. Although it’s possible to take it as a supplement, there isn’t really any need when you can get it from these sources. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, making you feel less tired and more alert. In fact, studies have shown that caffeine can make you feel more energized and improve your memory, reaction times and general brain function. The amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee varies, but generally it’s 50–400 mg. For most people, single doses of around 200–400 mg per day are generally considered safe and are enough to benefit health.

 

4. Phosphatidylserine

 

Phosphatidylserine is a type of fat compound called a phospholipid, which can be found in your brain. It’s been suggested that taking phosphatidylserine supplements could be helpful for preserving brain health. Studies have shown that taking 100 mg of phosphatidylserine three times per day could help reduce age-related decline in brain function. Additionally, healthy people who take phosphatidylserine supplements of up to 400 mg per day have been shown to have improved thinking skills and memory.

 

5. Acetyl-L-Carnitine

 

Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid produced naturally in your body. It plays an important role in your metabolism, particularly in energy production. Taking acetyl-L-carnitine supplements has been claimed to make you feel more alert, improve memory and slow down age-related memory loss. Some animal studies have shown that acetyl-L-carnitine supplements can prevent age-related decline in brain function and increase learning capacity. In humans, studies have found that it may be a useful supplement for slowing the decline in brain function due to age. It may also be useful for improving brain function in people with mild dementia or Alzheimer’s.

 

6. Ginkgo Biloba

 

Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement derived from the Ginkgo biloba tree. It’s an incredibly popular supplement that many people take to boost their brain power. It’s thought to work by increasing blood flow to the brain and is claimed to improve brain functions like focus and memory. Despite the widespread use of ginkgo biloba, results from studies investigating its effects have been mixed. Some studies have found that taking ginkgo biloba supplements can help reduce age-related decline in brain function. One study in healthy middle-aged people found that taking ginkgo biloba supplements helped improve memory and thinking skills.

 

7. Creatine

 

Creatine is a natural substance that plays an important role in energy metabolism. It’s found naturally in the body, mostly in muscles and in smaller amounts in the brain. Although it’s a popular supplement, you can find it in some foods, namely animal products like meat, fish and eggs. Interestingly, creatine supplements can improve memory and thinking skills in people who don’t eat meat. In fact, one study found that vegetarians taking creatine supplements experienced a 25–50% improvement in performance on a memory and intelligence test. However, meat eaters don’t see the same benefits. This may be due to the fact that they are not deficient and already get enough from their diets. BOTTOM LINE: Taking creatine supplements could help improve memory and thinking skills in people who don’t eat meat.

 

8. Bacopa Monnieri

 

Bacopa monnieri is a medicine made from the herb Bacopa monnieri. It’s used in traditional medicine practices like Ayurveda for improving brain function. It’s been shown to improve thinking skills and memory, both in healthy people and in elderly people suffering from a decline in brain function. However, it’s worth noting that only repeated use of Bacopa monnieri has been shown to have this effect. People generally take about 300 mg per day and it may take around four to six weeks for you to notice any results. Studies of Bacopa monnieri also show that it may occasionally cause diarrhea and an upset stomach. Because of this, many people recommend taking this supplement with food. BOTTOM LINE: Bacopa monnieri has been shown to improve memory and thinking skills in healthy people and in those with a decline in brain function.

 

9. Rhodiola Rosea

 

Rhodiola rosea is a supplement derived from the herb Rhodiola rosea, which is often used in Chinese medicine to promote well-being and healthy brain function. It’s thought to help improve mental processing by reducing fatigue. People taking Rhodiola rosea have been shown to benefit from a decrease in fatigue and improvement in their brain function. However, results have been mixed.

 

10. S-Adenosyl Methionine

 

S-Adenosyl methionine (SAMe) is a substance that occurs naturally in your body. It’s used in chemical reactions to make and break down important compounds like proteins, fats and hormones. It may be useful for enhancing the effects of some antidepressants and reducing the decline in brain function seen in people who have depression. One study found that adding SAMe to the antidepressant prescription of people who had previously not responded to therapy improved their chances of remission by around 14%. More recently, a study found that, in some instances, SAMe may be as effective as some types of antidepressant medications.

 

Comments

4 responses to “Top Natural Supplements for Brain Health!”

  1. Kyle Ann Percival says:

    Thanks for sharing this important information Eric.
    Although I can’t see myself taking 10 different supplements daily!
    Are there 1 or 2 supplements that contain all 10 of these years important nutrients?
    And I noticed that there only the Omega-3 oil is listed, I’ve also heard that Omega-6 and 9 are essential as well. Can you speak to that information?
    I have made adjustments to my diet to try and include the most important nutrients naturally because I already take pills for existing health issues and hate the thought of adding more. Is it possible to get these through foods alone or are some only available in supplements?
    I appreciate the education you are providing on this site.
    Thanks!

    • Erik says:

      Hello Kyle-Anne and thank you for your interest!
      Yes, there are some products that I prefer over others that have all or most of the important nutrients inside. I really like products like Neuroignite or Genius Joy and also Brain Plus seems to work well with me, you can find these products on my site since I take them daily myself, I do happen to find them best for daily use. I do like to switch them around every once in a while but I have noticed an increase in my motivation and or memory skills. I still do take fish oil tablets separately (1,200 mg-per day). I usually take them in the morning and at night before going to bed. The difference between Omega 3 and Omega 6 is that the omega-3s have anti-inflammatory benefits and help prevent heart disease, whereas omega-6s lower blood cholesterol and support the skin. I think both are very good for you but since you shouldn’t take really large doses of Omega 3 or 6, I just prefer 3 over the 6. In regards to the daily type of food that keeps your brain healthy, I think the best foods would be eating “fish” especially fatty fish like salmon, trout and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids! Then there is my favorite part of the mornings and that is drinking my coffee! If coffee is the highlight of your morning too, then you will be glad to hear that coffee is very good for you! There are two main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants that help your brain be more alert and it improves your mood and concentration skills! Other food items I can highly recommend are any type of berries like blueberries, cranberries and redberries which I love taking them every morning in my shake along with pumpkin seeds and tumeric which is also very good! Another favorite of mine is dark chocolate! Did you know that dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants? So when you eat dark chocolate next time just know that your brain will love you for it!

  2. Shweta says:

    Hi Erik I love How you have Succinctly wrapped such large information in easy and should I add, Brain absorbable bytes, its that much easier to flow through and grasp a topic that is usually not given so much attention.
    However you shed light on this article whilst I will read all your articles to follow.
    Its detailed, scientific and yet easy to understand.

    You have a great knack for writing:)
    Sincerely
    Dr.Shweta MG

    • Erik says:

      Hi Shweta, thank you so much for your kind words and I appreciate your feedback! I am honored to hear these words, thank you again! I do have a passion for these brain supplements as I noticed myself the positive effects it has caused!

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