Memory enhancing minerals and herbs 1260x542

Memory-enhancing minerals and herbs

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Support your memory with the right picks from nature’s medicine cabinet. Rosie Brogan reports.

Want to know which memory-supporting supplements have the best research muscle behind them? Melbourne-based healthcare professional Dr Vicki Kotsirilos and her colleagues reviewed studies supporting the following players in their new book A guide to Evidence-Based Integrative and Complementary Medicine.

Vitamins C and E may help repair damaged antioxidant defences. These supplements are possibly effective for lowering the risk of further cognitive degeneration among patients with vascular forms of cognitive impairment, but have no effect on dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. A large study of 4740 people published in the Archives of Neurology suggested that the brain benefits come when vitamins C and E are used in combination.

A deficiency in this mineral is linked with worse cognitive decline in patients with age-related brain disorders. 

This herb may have a positive impact upon your memory. It may act as an anti-inflammatory, increases blood circulation and removes amyloid build-up (which is linked to cognitive decline). One study looked at the impact of supplementing with 300 mg Brahmi for almost three months and suggested that, compared with placebo, the supplement appeared to significantly improve spatial working memory. 

Korean Red Ginseng
Research has suggested that Korean Ginseng may help to improve memory in those already diagnosed with a degenerative cognitive disorder.

Omega-3 fatty acids/ fish oil
A Cochrane review notes: “A growing body of evidence from biological, observational and epidemiological studies suggests a protective effect of omega-3 PUFAs against [age-related brain conditions].” Omega-3s also improve overall brain function in the elderly.

Did you know?

A review of 29,000 people in over 20 international studies suggested that using your brain for mentally stimulating mental activities at any age could halve your risk of cognitive decline.