Supplements for Brain Health

Supplements can be a great way to ensure your body gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly. However, keep in mind that supplements are not meant to negate an unhealthy diet, but rather, enhance an already healthy one. Used correctly, supplements can boost overall health. Supplements are a part of a proactive solution to strengthening the immune system and fighting off diseases.

Below are some of the best supplements for the brain and preventing cognitive decline

  • Ginkgo Biloba Those who have taken Ginkgo have shown improvements in mood, memory, cognition speed and even anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that it can also slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD).
    • Researchers believe that ginkgo improves cognitive function because it promotes good blood circulation in the brain and protects the brain from neuronal damage. Gingko also contains high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids, antioxidants that provide protection against oxidative cell damage from harmful free radicals.
  • Magnesium A deficiency in magnesium has been linked with memory impairment, slow recovery after a brain injury, and accelerated aging of brain cells. The latest studies show that supplementation with magnesium prevents the loss of synapses between neurons and reduces beta amyloid plaques which is one of the leading cause of dementia and AD.

  • Vitamins B (B6, B3, B12, B8 and B9) Like Magnesium, a deficiency in B vitamins can lead to memory loss and eventual dementia or AD. While the best source of B vitamins is from our diet, for some it may not be enough, particularly those who are older.

    • Studies have revealed that those who consume adequate amounts of B Vitamins show a significant slowing of brain shrinkage. B vitamins are also responsible for the production of the mood-boosting neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.  A simple blood test can determine if a deficiency is present.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids The most popular forms of this supplement are fish oil or flax seed oil. Omega 3s have proven to promote new brain cell formation and reduce inflammation. As a result, they help improve memory, slows the effects of neurological aging and helps deter early onset AD.

While there are great benefits to each supplement mentioned above, like with all medications, there may be side-effects. Some may have an adverse effect, or they may not mix well with other medications you are currently taking. Remember to first consult with a healthcare provider before choosing what is best for you.

If you have a general concern for your brain health, or if you have specific concerns due to an increased risk (genetics, type 2 diabetes, etc), there are professionals out there ready to help you create the best course of action. The terrific staff at the Rochester Holistic Center are only a phone call (585.690.3782) or email away.