Supplements are a popular addition to any diet. Designed to “supplement” your regular nutrition with additional vitamins, minerals, or nutrients, supplements can offer potential benefits. And today, memory supplements are one of the most popular choices – especially among older adults who are fighting against memory loss.
Nootropics, or memory supplements, are made of natural chemicals that are supposed to offer cognitive benefits for the brain. But do these supplements actually work?
Research on Nootropics is Mixed
Nootropics, which are more commonly known as memory supplements, sound like an amazing product. These pills or supplement substances claim to enhance cognitive power, fighting memory loss and other aging-related issues that can affect the brain.
And nootropics sound almost too good to be true. Is it really possible that, with a mixture of food-derived vitamins, lipids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, nootropics can improve cognition?
Though nootropics include a mix of ingredients that sound beneficial for the human brain, the findings are mixed. Time¹ reports that Dr. Guillaume Fond, a psychiatrist at Aix-Marseille University Medical School, studied cognitive enhancement in regards to nootropics and supplements – and in his findings, there wasn’t enough data to confirm their effectiveness.
Another study², conducted in 2015 by Dr. David Hogan of the University of Calgary, had similar findings. That study examined both nutrients and dietary supplements, and there was no convincing evidence that cognitive performance improved. Dr. Hogan summed up the study’s results by saying, “Supplements cannot replicate the complexity of natural food and provide all its potential benefits.”
So, while nootropics sound like an incredible benefit for the brain, the science is still uncertain. No one knows for sure that there’s a positive effect when these memory supplements are taken. Research doesn’t prove that they have any positive impact on your brain, and there’s little concrete evidence pointing to any benefits of these supplements.
While it’s disappointing that nootropics and memory supplements aren’t proven to work, there are other ways you can give your brain a boost. Whether you’re someone who’s interested in bettering your brain health or a senior looking to fight the effects of aging and memory loss, adding certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into your diet can be beneficial.
If you’re interested in these mind-boosting benefits, you want to look for safer alternatives to supplements. Instead of paying for pricey pills and supplemental products, choose vitamins and nutrients that are backed by research and evidence.
The following are a few vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that scientists have found to be beneficial for the brain³:
- Zinc: Researchers have found that many seniors have a zinc deficiency, which can affect the brain’s working memory. Adding zinc into your diet will prevent this problem.
- Vitamin B1: Also called thiamine, vitamin B1 can boost brain health by eliminating common nutritional deficiencies that are connected to Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive health issues.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is great for anti-aging, especially when it comes to skincare. But it’s also able to destroy free radicals in the brain and prevent damage to brain cells.
- Magnesium: A little bit of magnesium can enhance memory, both long-term and working. This can help fight memory loss issues.
Each of these nutrients can be taken via supplements. Just make sure that the supplements you choose don’t contain any other additives, and that they aren’t nootropics. Food is the best and most scientifically sound way to better your brain’s health, and your body may benefit if you consume more of them – especially if you have any deficiencies.
Are Memory Supplements Right for You?
If you’re interested in giving memory supplements a try, use them with discretion. Although nootropics are becoming a popular supplement, there isn’t much research on these products and their effectiveness. The jury is still out on whether they truly provide any noticeable benefits for your brain.
However, there are other nutrients you can turn to if you’re looking to fight memory loss and boost your brain as you age. Just make sure to do your own research. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest information and research about memory supplements. As more becomes known about nootropics and other supplements, the findings may change – and there may ultimately be benefits later on.