Can Supplements Help Your Long Term Brain Function?
By Natalie Wilson
July 2019 - There are so many supplements on the market that claim to work magic on the brain, however,
there are very few that can actually make a difference. Living a healthy lifestyle and eating properly is great, and filling in
the gaps with the effective supplements below is even better. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the effectiveness of
supplements on long term function, and although research is mixed, the popular belief is that many of these supplements can
help to boost memory, creativity, motivation and general brain functioning. Below we have a list of a few of the supplements
that you should either try or avoid!
Try - Fish Oils
The Omega-3 Fatty Acids found in fish oils are believed to play a vital role in maintaining the function and
structure of the brain, and it is found within brain cells. It also has anti-inflammatory effects that can protect against
damage and ageing. It isn't necessarily associated with improved brain function, yet, for people with mental health issues
such as depression, it is known to improve mood. Find your Omega-3 in fish and other seafood, particularly cold-water fatty
fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. Taking
EPA fish oil is especially important if you don't eat much fish, or none at all.
Regardless of your diet, taking fish oils can be very useful.
Avoid - Prevagen
Supplements on the market can often make rather vague claims about the effects they can have which can really
mislead consumers. Also, often, there isnít any proof of the positive effects that the products claim to have. Prevagen is a
supplement that is said to contain an ingredient that is derived from jellyfish and is said to support cognitive function.
However, there is no proof of there being any well-designed studies to test the effectiveness of the supplement. This is an
example of the money-fuelled side of pharmaceuticals, so perhaps give this one a miss.
Try - Ginkgo Biloba
Researchers believe that ginkgo
can improve cognitive function as it encourages a good circulation of blood in
the brain, and protects it from damage. It has been suggested that it can reduce symptoms of psychiatric disorders, anxiety and
depression, as well as dementia and healthy brain function in general. It is also thought to contain powerful antioxidants.
However, it is thought that the benefits of ginkgo may only really apply to older people, so consider this before purchasing.
Avoid - Choline
Choline is an essential nutrient found in meat, eggs and dairy, yet when consumed in excess, it can raise levels
of bacteria which can increase the likelihood of platelets joining together to create clots. This can be really dangerous, as
it prevents blood flow and can lead to fatal health issues such as strokes or heart attacks. Although consuming choline in your
normal diet is healthy, it doesnít seem to be advisable to take any in the form of supplements.
Try - Caffeine
Coffee is extremely popular across the globe, mainly as a morning wake-me-up. But is it
good for your brain?
It has been heavily criticised in the past, but it actually can be very healthy and beneficial when consumed in moderation.
Caffeine found in coffee stimulates the central nervous system, as it prevents adenosine from slowing you down and makes you
feel alert. In terms of actual brain function, it has been suggested that caffeine can improve mood, general mental function,
vigilance and also memory. Researchers are still debating the effects of caffeine on long term-memory, yet it has found that
caffeine may enhance short-term memory. Other studies, however, have shown no effects on memory at all. Aside from the perceived
benefits on memory, the other benefits it can have for the brain make it certainly worth trying.