You may have seen pills claiming that they ‘improve memory’, ‘improve focus’ etc. Even though they claim to do so, there is no actual proof. The producers are allowed to sell the supplements and don’t need to prove it’s effectiveness unless they make specific claims for diseases. Studies show how 25% of adults over the age of 50 consume one kind of pill to promote brain activity.
The main way to strengthen brain health is through a proper diet consisting mainly of nutritious food and proper sleep. Studies also prove how regular physical exercise helps combat all most all health issues during any age. Brain health also is determined by your social, political and economical environment. For the most part your daily healthy habits help combat any future brain issues.
But do these really work?
Certain vitamins and fatty acids have been believed to decline or avert memory loss. Nootropics are drugs, substances or supplements that claim to aid the brain of a healthy person. They especially target cognitive functions like creativity, memory, decision making, motivation etc. It is also believed to reduce age determined issues.
So what are some common supplements to boost brain power?
- Vitamin B – The B vitamin category is known to have an important role to play on our brain health. They give us folic acid (B6, B12, and B9) and unless you’re actually low in levels a supplement is unlikely to help. Studies show how a leafy diet is first recommended to Alzheimer prone patients followed by which they consider supplements. Research also shows how B12 deficiency is very common among people who have stomach issues, especially in vegetarians. This is due to the natural consumption of B12 from poultry and fish. Due to the low stomach acid levels as you get older the B12 deficiency increases.
- Fish Oil/ Omega 3 – Fish oil supplements are known to contain high levels of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid ) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which are the two types of Omega-3 fatty acids. These have been linked to having several brain health benefits. EPA has anti-inflammatory effects that acts as a defense against aging. DHA on the other hand maintains the structure and functioning of your brain. Studies show how DHA has significantly improved memory and reaction times in healthy individuals. EPA doesn’t necessarily bring forward improved brain function however, it has proved to have benefits for those people struggling with depression. It is recommended to take up to two portions of oily fish per week. If unable to reach this, then a supplement comes into the picture.
- Creatine – Creatine is a substance that plays an important role in metabolism and a supplement is often taken by athletes to increase their energy levels. It exists natural in small levels in the brain and mostly in muscles. Studies show how consuming a creatine supplement increases the level of creatine in the brain around 5-15%, which inturn improves brain functioning.
- Vitamin E – This is an antioxidant that may combat brain damage. For now, experts say most healthy people should stick with food sources like nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. Some evidence has shown that vitamin E is an antioxidant and is believed reduce oxidative stress and increase brain health. Despite you age or condition, required amounts of vitamin E is received from their food. A few Vitamin E rich foods are nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, spinach, broccoli etc.