Are there memory supplements, memory enhancement drugs, or memory enhancers, that actually improve memory, lessen the risk of age-associated memory loss, as well as help concentration?
In a word, yes. But…caveat emptor.
In this article, I will give you basic, core information on memory supplements that actually work as well as vital information on those so-called memory aids you should avoid like a telemarketer.
Needless to say, there’s been a lot of information, not to mention disinformation, floating around in this Information Age regarding dietary supplements and natural health remedies at large.
It’s often difficult to know what’s good, what’s bad, and who is just trying to make a fast buck. So, with that in mind, what are the best memory boosting pills you should take? They are:
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Omega 3 fish oils
- Gotu Kola
“So, what are the so-called memory supplements I should avoid,” you ask? Avoid the following:
- Growth hormone
Let’s discuss the five legitimate memory boosters first.Good Memory Supplements – Ginkgo Biloba Herbal Remedy
The popular Ginkgo Biloba herbal remedy is fast becoming one of the best memory supplements in the world. It is by far the most popular alternative remedy for memory problems as well as memory enhancement.
To be concise, this herbal memory remedy has been shown in clinical tests to improve memory, concentration, and retention — even in Alzheimer’s patients! It reestablishes and enhances chemical messaging between neurotransmitters in the brain.
(If you have a blood clotting disorder like hemophilia or a vitamin K deficiency, you especially should talk to your doctor before using any new memory supplement or drug.) If Ginkgo Biloba’s tremendous memory-boosting powers weren’t enough incentive to use it, it’s also a potent antioxidant, helping to slow aging.
This supplement is actually medically prescribed in Germany and elsewhere in Europe for the memory impaired. It’s good to see that and while its popularity is growing here in the US as well one wonders what Big Pharma’s next move will be.
Recommended dosage for Ginkgo Biloba per day is approximately 120 mg to 240 mg a day. Some prescribe less, some more but that is a good, general guideline.
Unlike many supplements, this substance has been tested extensively on both healthy as well as memory-impaired adults. Phosphatidylserine has consistently shown itself to both improve memory and concentration without the serious side effects that so characterize many drugs today.
This remarkable substance, like Ginkgo Biloba, facilitates communication between neurotransmitters as well as lowering the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that researchers believe interferes with cognitive function. If it’s not a memory supplement, it’s certainly a great memory-enhancing drug.
Piracetam is actually not a nutritional supplement but a prescribed drug. It is also among the first memory boosting pills that was marketed in Europe. It must be prescribed by a doctor but is available online.
What’s remarkable about this drug is that it doesn’t have any serious side effects — there’s very few drugs that can make that claim.
Originally prescribed as a motion sickness aid, piracetam has been shown to significantly improve age-related memory problems — even with those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps with improving chronic cerebral ischemia, or decreased brain blood flow.
Mild side effects include insomnia, nausea, headaches, tremors, nervousness, etc. The severity of the side effects are reported as mild.
This one’s a keeper.
The recommended dosage is 2,400 mg to 4,800 divided in three separate dosages.
Omega 3 Fish Oils & Omega 3 Supplements
What about Omega 3 supplements?
There are many health benefits of Omega 3 fish oil supplements including reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and improved brain function is one of them. Omega 3 fish oil supplements are not memory supplements per se.
However, this versatile supplement is pound for pound the most capable nutritional supplement in the world. It is also very affordable. If your budget is tight and you want to optimize your budget, consider fish oil supplements.
TIP: Studies have shown the fatty acid DHA as the primary precursor for improved brain and heart function in Omega 3 supplements. So, make sure your fish oil supplement has DHA over EPA. In addition, make sure your fish oil pills are molecularly distilled. This ensures that it is free of contaminants. Also look for memory boosting pills that are made from deep-water fish like the hoki.
Yes, omega 3 fish oils are fantastic. They not only help your brain function but also limit the severity of manic depressive episodes in those thus afflicted. It should be in your arsenal of regularly used memory supplements.
This one’s a keeper too.
Gotu Kola Extract
Gotu Kola extract comes from an herb that is red-flowered that grows in the southern US, China, middle and southern Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Australia. African elephants have a strong disposition to this plant, which may help account for the saying, “memory like an elephant.”
But if it’s good for elephants, is it good for humans? Yes, it is.
This versatile herb while helping memory function primarily as it helps increase blood flow to the brain, it also helps build connective tissue, soothe burns and wounds, and is believed to contribute to longevity. It’s even been used to help those with cirrhosis of the liver.
This article thus far has dwelt upon the good, but what about the bad and the ugly? What scams or feigned memory boosting pills should you avoid you ask? They are:
- Growth hormone
Let’s first talk about Growth Hormone. This is a protein that is secreted by the pituitary gland. It promotes cell growth, which of course is vital to good memory function. However, not only does it not increase cognitive function, but the risks of using this supplement are significant.Growth hormone causes blood sugar issues, fluid retention, and high blood pressure. Research also shows it stimulating the growth of cancerous tumors — even if they’re microscopic in size.
Consensus? Avoid growth hormone like you would the Ebola Virus.
It may have its place but it should not be classified as a memory supplement.
Phenytoin, or Dilantin as it is also known by, is a anticonvulsant drug prescribed to treat epilepsy. Even though there are no clinical studies to date to support the claim that this is a memory boosting drug like Piracetam, it is wrongfully promoted as such.
Side effects of this drug are substantial and even deadly. It harms the liver, blood, and the thyroid causing in some cases death. It also causes severe insomnia and incites slurred speech. You should not take this drug unless prescribed by a knowledgeable physician.
This one’s not a keeper — avoid it like the tax man.
Last but certainly not least is Vincamine. This is actually an herbal supplement that is made from the periwinkle plant. It’s purported to enhance concentration, memory retention, as well as increase blood flow to the brain — critical to good memory enhancement.
While Vincamine does increase cerebral blood flow, long-term usage of this herbal can cause severe sleep problems including insomnia. It can also induce life threatening and irregular heart beats.
In summary, while there are certainly fantastic herbals, nutritional supplements and drugs that enhance mental function, there are also alternatives that could literally be deadly.
Don’t buy the sales hype, think for yourself and don’t buy impulsively. As this article has shown you, there are great memory supplements out there and now you know which ones to use and which ones to avoid.
Glenn Reschke is the webmaster of a site on nutritional supplements info, a website in the top 3% of all websites offering info on general health and the webmaster of a site on the health benefits of cayenne pepper.