Vitamins for Memory: All You Need to Know

What Vitamins are the best for your memory?

Image: Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone has heard at some time or another that there are certain vitamins that improve your memory and can help you become more super-human. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Limitless, you’ve probably been curious about whether there really is a drug like NZT available on the market today. Sadly, there isn’t a drug like NZT available yet…although some researchers saying that a drug like it isn’t too far away.  Read more Brain Games: Is ‘Limitless’ a Glimpse of Our Future?

The good thing is that there are vitamins for memory. An even better thing is that I’ve spent time doing research for you and have compiled a list that will teach you more about what you should know about vitamins, supplements, and memory improvement.

Memory Vitamins

There are three main types of vitamins that can be taken every day for memory improvement. Various studies indicate that these vitamins are essential to have your brain and memory function at its highest level. In addition to improving your diet, you should consider taking vitamin pills as a simple way to guarantee you get all of these vitamins in your daily diet.

Here’s a brief description of the main types of vitamins that can have an affect on memory and your brain power:

1) B Vitamins – Research has shown that B vitamins create a protective shield for the neurons in your brain and help improve memory. These vitamins break down an amino acid that is toxic to nerve cells in your brain, called homocysteine. B Vitamins also lend a hand in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen and is a very important aspect of brain nutrition.

Note: The most important B vitamins are B6, B12, and Folic Acid (B9). There are two ways to increase the B vitamins in your diet. You can either take vitamin supplements or you can start to incorporate healthy, natural foods like spinach and dark, leafy greens into your diet. If you can’t stand all of the leafy greens, you can simply take the vitamins.

2)  Antioxidants – You see the word everywhere, but do you know what they are and why they are important? Vitamins C, Vitamin E and beta carotene are antioxidants that are important for memory. Antioxidants break down free radicals in your brain, which are toxic forms of the oxygen molecule that’s naturally found in your bloodstream.

Note: Antioxidant vitamins are linked with memory because the damage that is done by these free radicals impairs the functioning neurons in your brain. It’s basically a way of protecting your brain from getting attacked by these free radicals. Some of these antioxidants are found in foods that you may be eating everyday. Foods like blueberries, strawberries, sweet potatoes, spinach, nuts, seeds and citrus fruits contain these antioxidants.

3) Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Alright so these aren’t really considered “vitamins” in the traditional sense of the word. They are more so fat molecules that are beneficial in enhancing memory and brain function. You may have a negative perception of the term fats, but the Omega-3 fatty acids are actually in a class of good fat. The fats here protect the brain against inflammation and high cholesterol.

Note: Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include foods like cold-water fish: salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, mackerel as well as flaxseed and flaxseed oil.

Other Memory Supplements

There are other supplements that have proven to be beneficial in improving memory and I’m going to tell you about these now.

 

Acetyl L-Carnitine. This supplement is know because it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which helps with the energy production that’s necessary for optimal brain function. It’s also shown effective in helping bodybuilders grow stronger muscles during exercise.

 

Alpha GPC.  You’ve probably never heard of this. It’s true scientific name is Alpha Glycerophospocholine which is a mouthful. Alpha GPC is a form of choline that boosts basic life processes including growth and revitalization. Clinical studies have shown that Alpha GPC supports increased attention span, mental focus, recall, and other brain functions. Those are all positive benefits when it comes to improving memory.

 

ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) – ATP is the molecule that is needed by your body to create energy. When you have an increase in physiological energy, another benefit is that it helps improve your concentration as well as mental focus.

 

Bacopa Monnieri  Bacopa Monnieri is an Asian herb that has been used for centuries by Ayurvedic doctors in India. They have used this supplement for memory improvements and concentration. Modern studies are finding out that the Ayurvedic doctors knew what they were doing and shows support that the bacosides, the natural phytonutrients in this herb, do indeed support brain transmitters during memorization.

 

L-Carnosine is a general-purpose supplement that helps protect cells and tissues against the negative effects that aging naturally has. Carnosine has been used as a broad-spectrum anti-oxidant that defends against age-related declines in both the mental and immune functions of the body.

 

Citicoline (CDP Choline)  is a type of B vitamin which has been refined in order to product targeted action for phospholipid creation. Phospholipids are at the core of brain cell membranes, and Citicoline helps to enhance the production of important neurotransmitters in the brain.

DMAE 2-Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, is believed to help with mental energy, alertness, and concentration. This compound can cross the blood-brain barrier in order to reach brain cells and is beneficial for energy, alertness and concentration.
Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to improve blood flow in your organs, including within your brain. The research has yet to prove that Ginkgo actually improves memory though. While this isn’t going to make a drastic change in your life, researchers do believe that improving blood flow to the brain is probably helpful. It could possibly mean that oxygen and nutrients can be delivered to your brain cells more efficiently.
L-Glutamine is a supplement that passes through the blood-brain barrier to the brain and is then converted into glutamic acid. This glutamic acid is an essential brain transmitter and is recommended for concentration and keeping your brain sharp. L-Glutamine is very popular among bodybuilders because it’s the most abundant amino acid in your muscles so has an added benefit for overall health and well being.
Huperzine A is a Chinese moss extract. Some studies have indicated that Hyperzine A enhances learning and memory by helping the action of neurotransmitters in the brain. This could indicate a way to battle age-related memory loss and even short-term memory boosts for students preparing for an exam.
NADH is a form of Vitamin B3 that boosts energy in your cells throughout the body. It will also help with the production of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
Phosphatidyl Serine is one of the most popular of the brain-improvement supplements and is a major component of the outer membrane of brain cells. Naturally when we age, the production of phosphatidyl serine(PS) declines. Studies have proven that PS helps to reverse age-related memory problems as well as mood changes.
L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that is converted inside of the body to neurotransmitters that moderate stress response, mental function as well as overall mood. When taken on an empty stomach with water, it has been found to really enhance concentration.
Vinpocetine is an extract of the periwinkle plant and can be used as an herbal aid for improving both memory and concentration. Vinpocetine acts as a vasodilaor and increases the blood flow specifically in the part of the brain that is used to store memory.
You may be surprised at how many vitamins and supplements there truly are for improving your memory. There is going to be an overflow in the market of different vitamins and supplements that claim to have a profound impact on your memory. Take your time when deciding to try these all out and do proper research before bringing these into your diet.

What have you learned about different vitamins for memory that could be added to this list?

Share your comments below!

Note: I am not a Doctor and do not claim to be. This is not intended to be taken as medical advice, but merely to make you aware of what is available. Consult your doctor before making any dietary changes that may affect your health.

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives. Connect with Chris on Google+.

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    very interesting post here, wish my memory was better. Sometimes i think i should just take some of the stuff on here http://www.nootropics.co.uk

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