Choosing the best vitamins for memory enhancement and cognitive function should be based on the scientific literature which supports its use for these functions. The best vitamins which have been researched for memory enhancement include the B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin D. These are essential vitamins, required by the body. Nutritional supplements which include omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in cod liver or krill oil, have also been shown to be positively linked to cognitive and memory improvement.
Many vitamins for memory contain B vitamins, which have been shown to aid those suffering from mild memory problems. Folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are the B vitamins which have been tested more thoroughly and will help in keeping homocysteine and amino acid levels regulated in the body. Taking B vitamins for memory makes sense, because those suffering with cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease usually have high levels of homocysteine circulating in the blood. Vegetarians should supplement with B vitamins, especially with vitamin B12, as a deficiency in this memory vitamin can occur quite easily with a vegetarian diet.
A large scale study on seniors found a link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk for dementia. Vitamin D is produced in the body when exposed to sunlight, and research has shown that this vitamin may support memory enhancement when faced with cognitive impairment. Since sunlight is not always ideally acquired, many who look for memory supplements look for vitamin D in the ingredients. Some memory vitamins contain vitamin D as a memory booster, as well as a host of other vitamins which work together to support cognition.
Vitamin E, an important antioxidant, has been shown to reduce the risk for memory problems and aid in preserving cognitive abilities throughout life. Research suggests a link between oxidative stress and memory problems, so using the antioxidant power of this vitamin may slow or prevent the onset of memory decline later on. There are a few vitamins for memory which use vitamin E, but it isn't as well known as the other vitamins used as memory boosters. When purchasing vitamins for memory, it is recommended to look for the natural form of vitamin E, which is known as tocopherol, as synthetic vitamin E is much harder to absorb.
Nutritional supplements which contain omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish oils and flaxseed, have shown great promise in helping in memory enhancement. Omega-3 nutritional supplements are not vitamins, however, but are an essential part of the diet. Some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help stave off debilitating illnesses related to age and memory degeneration, like Alzheimer's. When looking for vitamins to help aid memory, it is important to notice if the vitamins contain this essential fat, unless it is taken as a separate supplement.