How do I Choose the Best Vitamins for Memory?

Brandon May

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.

Multivitamin supplements.
Multivitamin supplements.

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 better working memory appears to coincide with a longer attention span.
A better working memory appears to coincide with a longer attention span.

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 D, which is produced naturally within the body, is good for memory.
Vitamin D, which is produced naturally within the body, is good for memory.

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.

Salmon is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help with memory.
Salmon is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help with memory.

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Discussion Comments

Viranty

@RoyalSpyder - While you do make an excellent point, from my perspective, vitamins and supplements can be just as beneficial as what's naturally found in food, if not even more so. Also, to answer your question, there are actually some advantages and disadvantages between both, supplements and natural nutrients (found in food).

For example, the vitamin known as lutein can really help someone with their eyes. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but it can also be found in spinach.

However, what if someone wants a higher dosage of the mineral? Wouldn't it just be much easier to go to the store, and buy forty milligram tablets instead? It sure beats cooking spinach for long periods of time, especially if one is very busy.

However, natural foods also have their advantages over supplements. While you can eat as many carrots as you want (which are rich in vitamin A), overdosing on vitamin A supplements can be very dangerous.

It doesn't leave your body like vitamin c, and will constantly build itself up. Overall, I hope I gave you some helpful tips about the advantages and disadvantages of both.

RoyalSpyder

I don't know how anyone else feels from reading this article, but I've never really been a big fan of taking supplements, beneficial or not.

I mean, why would one go out of their way to order natural minerals and supplements, when they can just get those benefits from eating the proper amounts of food, which are even more natural?

For example, I've always found vitamin C tablets to be pretty much a waste. After all, doesn't a nice tall glass of orange juice have more benefits in the long run, instead of taking two hundred and fifty measly milligrams per day?

Krunchyman

I'm surprised that the article doesn't go deeper into the fact that while some supplements might be quite helpful, on the other hand, it's always a good idea to be aware of the kinds of side effects that can come along with whatever it is that you're trying to take.

Not to mention that sometimes, manufacturers might even skimp out on the essential ingredients, and may even use more fillers, as a means to save money. Just because an industry is selling health products, doesn't mean that they can't be motivated by greed.

Obviously, this isn't always the case, as some supplements can be very helpful, as we can see from reading this article. However, it's definitely something that you should take into consideration.

For example, a few years ago, in order to improve my health, I had decided that I would start taking some omega-3 supplements. However, one thing I noticed is that I started experiencing some really unusual side effects, such as dizziness and fatigue.

However, not only did the symptoms go away after I stopped taking the supplements, but even more so, when I decided to purchase a different omega-3 supplement, things turned out better, and I didn't experience any negative side effects.

Overall, this is one of the reasons why it's best to be aware of the kinds of supplements you want to purchase.

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