Under the Hood

Best Supplements To Take For Better Brain Health

Approximately five million people living in the United States suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The brain is the most vital organ in the body that is responsible for processing information, emotions and memories, helping with coordination and communication. 

Brain function deteriorates with age, first with mild cognitive impairment, the stage prior to dementia. It relates to problems with reasoning and judgement, not necessarily corresponding with the person’s age. Lifestyle interventions including physical activities, sleeping well, eating a balanced diet and cutting out bad habits such as smoking could prevent cognitive decline to an extent.

Along with the right kind of food, some people are recommended supplements to preserve brain health. Here are four supplements nutritionist Libby Limon recommends to her clients:

Lion’s Mane

The Lion’s Mane mushroom has been used in Chinese traditional medicine for centuries. It can be consumed in capsule, pill or extract form. Antioxidant and inflammatory properties help protect against dementia, reduce anxiety and depression since inflammation is the underlying cause of neurodegenerative brain diseases. 

Lion’s mane supplements allegedly also lessens nerve damage and shrinking of brain cells by aiding the production of two important compounds, namely nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The compounds are necessary for the production of new cells. 

Turmeric

“Turmeric is potent anti-inflammatory, as such it has already shown potential in animal studies to reduce or help prevent brain cell damage,” Limon said. Taking tumeric helps supplement DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) deficiency, which can make people more prone to cognitive disorders. Curcumin, the compound present in turmeric, helps in the synthesis of DHA, therefore providing neuroprotection. 

Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is popularly used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries because it is an herb that improves brain function. The purpose of the supplement are plenty: in the treatment of epilepsy, memory, anxiety, alleviating stress. 

B Vitamins

B vitamins with folate are good for brain health. Its deficiency can lead to loss of brain function in old adults. Taking B vitamins help in the reduction of brain atrophy, also known as the loss of neurons, which is linked to dementia. Studies have shown that consuming B vitamins help in maintaining good memory.  

Brain New study finds that spaceflight can change our brains. Aban Nesta / Flickr

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