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Memory Loss and Vitamin Supplements: Do They Help?

 

The possibility of memory loss is one of the main causes of concern for seniors. Many older men and women are looking for ways to bolster memory with vitamin supplements. WebMD has provided a list of supplements that may have potential for preventing memory loss, although further studies are required.

If you are interested in natural remedies, it is important that you inform your doctor, as although these supplements may help, they pose a risk of interacting with prescription medications. It is not advised that you take any herbal remedies without letting your physician know and ensuring the supplement will be safe for you.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Studies have strongly linked a higher intake of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. These foods include cold-water fish, English walnuts, and plant and nut oils. Further studies are needed to prove that omega-3 supplements provide memory benefits.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, although it apparently does not lower the risk of developing the condition in the first place. In a study published by the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that 2000 IU of alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) slowed functional decline among patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Consult with your physician before taking vitamin E, as high dosages may be risky for unhealthy patients, or those on blood thinning medications. This vitamin is found in nuts, seeds, vegetables, and dark-colored fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, and avocados.

Asian Ginseng

Also known as Panax ginseng, Asian ginseng is an herb, sometimes taken with ginkgo biloba, that may help relive fatigue and improve quality of life. Small groups of study participants have also derived memory benefits from this herb.

Huperzine A

Chinese club moss (huperzine A) is a natural medicine that works in a similar way to Alzheimer’s medications. More studies are needed to confirm its efficacy and safety.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

This amino acid may help improve memory among people with Alzheimer’s. Benefits of acetyl-L-carnitine may be greater with early onset Alzheimer’s that is progressing at a rapid rate.

Ginkgo Biloba

Some studies have shown that, although ginkgo biloba does not help prevent dementia, it may improve or stabilize symptoms. It may also benefit mental ability, mood, and alertness.

Vitamin B12 and Memory

As stated in an article published by the Mayo Clinic, vitamin B12 is essential for healthy red blood cells and nerve cells. A deficiency in this important nutrient can cause a range of symptoms, including memory loss. Some studies have shown that low vitamin B12 levels may be linked with a higher risk of dementia.

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in meat, fish, and poultry. Deficiencies are more common among vegetarians and older adults.

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