NOOTROPICS FOR MEMORY & MOOD BALANCE

Yes, memory supplements work.

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Vitamins:

Many vitamins—including vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin K, and B vitamins (especially B6, B9, and B12)—demonstrate nootropic mechanisms by regulating neurotransmitter production, aiding in the methylation cycle, and promoting anti-inflammatory actions.

For example, in a 2016 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, participants with lower vitamin B12 levels had suboptimal memory performance (even when their B12 levels were considered to be in a “normal” range). Researchers believe this is because vitamin B12 helps promote microstructural integrity of the hippocampus, which is a major part of the brain that helps us process and retrieve memories.

Minerals:

Another unique set of micronutrients, minerals—such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron—play a role in brain health by promoting neurotransmitter synthesis, mitochondrial function, cellular signaling, and more.

In a 2010 preclinical study published in Neuron, researchers discovered that increased levels of magnesium L-threonate in the brain improved short-term neuroplasticity, long-term potentiation (i.e., synapse signaling), and both learning and memory functions in rats.

Amino acids:

The essential building blocks of proteins throughout our body, amino acids also have a profound effect on neurotransmitter synthesis, helping regulate everything from mood to motivation in the brain.

For example, L-tyrosine is a precursor for the neurotransmitter dopamine, which plays a part in mental energy, motivation, and happiness. According to a 2013 Frontiers review, increasing your L-tyrosine intake (through diet or supplementation) can help promote working memory updates which are the brain’s “screening system” to decide whether or not new information is worth holding on to.

In addition to L-tyrosine, here are some other amino acids that promote memory and overall cognitive function:

  • L-theanine
  • Taurine
  • L-tryptophan
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine
  • Creatine
  • Glutamine
  • GABA
  • 5-HTP

Botanicals:

We believe in the healing power of plants at mbg, and when it comes to nootropic mechanisms—boy do botanicals deliver! Ranging from ancient Indigenous plants to adaptogenic mushrooms and Ayurvedic herbs, these dynamic plants promote myriad brain health benefits—including increased stress resilience, enhanced executive function, and improved memory.

Here are some powerhouse plants that support memory and other cognitive functions:—

  • Panax ginseng
  • Bacopa monnieri
  • Guarana seed
  • Gotu kola
  • Ashwagandha root & leaf
  • Lion’s mane mushroom
  • Reishi mushroom
  • Cordyceps mushroom
  • Gingko biloba
  • Turmeric root
  • Lemon balm

Phytonutrients:

Phytonutrients (aka phytochemicals) are organic compounds intrinsic to and sourced from botanicals. You’re likely already familiar with a few of these plant bioactives—or their benefits, at least.

If you’ve heard of turmeric root’s anti-inflammatory properties, you can thank curcumin—the principal curcuminoid in turmeric—for its whole-body health benefits (including your noggin).

When it comes to memory support, the red-wine-famous phytonutrient resveratrol (which can be derived from fermentation or Japanese knotweed to be used in supplements) is especially beneficial.

In a 2020 Nutrients study, resveratrol supplementation was found to improve verbal memory in postmenopausal women.* Researchers believe this benefit is largely due to resveratrol’s antioxidant and cerebrovascular properties; indeed, because it brings blood to the brain and keeps free radicals out, resveratrol has been found to be universally helpful for cognitive function and brain longevity.

Here are some additional phytonutrients that support memory and brain function:

  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Huperzine A

Other neuronutrients:

There are a few compounds that don’t fit so neatly into the categories above but still deserve a seat at the table of nootropics.

Neuronutrient citicoline (aka CDP-choline) is massively beneficial to promoting and maintaining cognitive function—anytime but especially later in life. In a 2021 study on healthy older adults published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that citicoline supplementation (specifically, Cognizin®) enhanced overall memory, with significant improvements in episodic memory.

Award-winning cognitive health researcher and lead author of the study Eri Nakazaki, Ph.D., shares that powerhouse neuronutrient citicoline boasts a robust body of published scientific evidence. This nootropic has impressive efficacy to nourish and promote our brain and executive function—supporting the structure and function of our neurons, neurotransmitter levels (especially acetylcholine), and diverse cognitive metrics spanning brain energy, attention, memory, and cognitive performance.

Phospholipids—think phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine—and other key phospholipid precursors (citicoline) or constituents (brain-centric omega-3 fats EPA and DHA) are incredibly vital to overall brain function. They help maintain the structure, function, and integrity of cellular membranes, which make up the outer layer of all cells (including those in the brain like neurons and glia).

1 Comment
  1. Rohini Desai says

    Well informed Thank you for sharing and always look forward to read your more posts. Each post is very helpful . God bless you always.

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