Brain Boost: How Do Brain Supplements Affect Your Brain?

supplements

As the general population ages, there has been an increasing interest in brain supplements. Older individuals are turning to brain supplements to boost brain power and enhance memory capabilities. Of course, older individuals are not the only ones looking for a bit of a brain boost. Younger people are also interested in staying sharp and keeping their brain functioning at peak performance. In other cases, people turn to brain supplements to help eliminate moodiness, depression, anxiety or stress.

How Do Brain Supplements Affect Your Brain?

brainWith so many dietary supplements on the market today, it can be confusing to figure out which ones are most effective. Some supplements simply tout “memory aid” or “enhanced brain function” on the label, without too many details on what one can expect. Supplements work in different ways, and can be most helpful for certain individuals or for certain circumstances. As such, it is important to learn more about how these supplements work.

Nutrients for Brain Health

Some nutrients are widely recognized as being helpful for brain function. For example, a sufficient level of choline is needed for a fetus’ brain to develop properly. Adequate levels of choline when a person is young has been linked to better retention of mental abilities later in life. In fact, low levels of choline are thought to possibly contribute to certain neurological disorders.

Omega-3 fats, readily available within fish oil, have also been found to be beneficial to good brain function. Results of studies vary, but in some cases, fish oil supplements have displayed an ability to slow down a decline in brain function as a person ages. As a bonus, fish oil supplements may also provide benefits to a person’s cardiovascular functions.

Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that is important for good brain function. If a person is suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency, he or she may exhibit the type of memory loss and confusion that are commonly associated with Alzheimer’s.

Many people have a magnesium deficiency, without even being aware of it. A lack of magnesium can cause lack of mental focus, “brain fog,” and stress. Magnesium supplements can be used to correct a deficiency, and improve mental health and function.

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, is also taken in supplement form to enhance mood and healthy levels of sleep. It is also a common supplement taken for mild depression. Since it is a precursor to serotonin, it can be quite helpful as a mood and brain function enhancing supplement.

It appears that nutrient and vitamin supplements work by making sure the brain is adequately nourished. But there are other supplements that are herbal or synthetic in nature.

Herbal Supplements – How Do Brain Supplements Affect Your Brain?

Ginko biloba is a common supplement taken to enhance brain function. In addition to being a popular supplement on its own, it is also a common ingredient in “Brain Boost” supplements. Although more studies are needed, some have found ginko biloba to be helpful for treating Alzheimer’s. It is generally believed to sharpen mental function and improve memory capabilities.

Ginseng is another commonly used brain function enhancer. In addition to increasing mental clarity and boosting memory, it can also enhance one’s level of physical energy.

Bacopa is common ingredient in brain enhancement supplements. It has been used since ancient times in Indian Ayurvedic medicinal practices to boost brain function. It helps to improve blood flow to the brain, which in turn provides the brain with a better level of glucose, oxygen and nutrients. It has long been used to enhance concentration, memory and learning. Bacopa helps to increase one’s energy level without being a stimulant.

herbal supplements

Curcumin, which is a component found within the turmeric spice, can be taken as a supplement to help improve brain function. It is thought to increase blood flow to the brain, while also possessing anti-inflammatory properties. Its anti-inflammatory properties are thought to help prevent the plaques and inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s. Taking a curcumin supplement can also increase one’s level of serotonin and dopamine, thus providing mood enhancement and a lessening of depression.

Vinpocetine, which is a synthesized version of a periwinkle plant extract, is another popular brain boosting supplement. Although it is sold as a supplement in the United States, it is an approved dementia drug in Europe. Periwinkle has been used since ancient times as a cure for memory loss and headaches. It improves blood flow to the brain while also decreasing inflammation. It is commonly taken to help reduce “brain fog,” as well as to improve memory.

Whether you choose a single supplement or a “Brain Boost” supplement that combines a variety of ingredients, you should talk to your doctor first. This is especially true if you are already taking prescription medications.

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