Best Brain Supplements for Brain Health

The Best Brain Supplements for Brain Health

November 08, 2019

Lori Jo Vest

Lori Jo Vest is the epitome of our culture's busy entrepreneur. Besides running her growing business, PopSpeed Digital Marketing, she recently launched a podcast to help young professionals navigate the landmines of the business world. With her overstuffed schedule and hectic lifestyle, Lori became interested in Memory Health as a way to enhance executive function, support mental clarity, and ensure future brain health. Lori has written extensively in the health and wellness categories, including patient/consumer education and social media content for global CPG brands, health and wellness education programs, and national and regional healthcare networks. Learn more about Lori. 

the best brain supplements for brain health

If you want to take care of your current and future mental function, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the BEST brain supplements for your brain health. In fact, since your brain directs the activities of the rest of your body, it’s best to pay attention to what your brain needs starting NOW. A great way to start supporting your current brain functioning and future brain health is to make sure you get the right nutrition, stay hydrated, limit any unhealthy habits you may have picked up like smoking or consuming too much alcohol, exercise at recommended levels for your current health status, and, to make sure you’re fully supporting your brain health, take the right vitamins and supplements to ensure you’re giving your brain exactly the nutrients it needs. 

WHY BRAIN HEALTH MATTERS

Your brain health matters! In a world where you feel overstretched, in our overly busy culture, you’re probably short-changing your health and wellness in favor of getting things done. Yet, if you don’t care for both your physical body and your  brain health, you’re risking a reduced ability to focus, along with poor or declining cognitive functioning, uneven moods, and potentially a rapidly failing memory. You may even be setting yourself up for future age-related issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

If you choose to believe that you brain health matters, you need to make choices that support that. The payoff? You’ll inevitably experience better focus and cognition, improved moods and a stronger memory - both short-term and long-term. You may even be able to stave off mental decline due to aging, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  

BIOHACKING YOUR BRAIN WITH BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS 

Brain health supplements can be used to improve your brain function and memory, a form of biohacking. We’re all suffering overstimulation in today’s turned on, always insanely busy, racing mind, working too many hours culture. That alone can cause short term memory issues, lack of focus, feeling like you can’t pay attention, and a state of constant distraction. So are those problems caused by external forces, or are they a problem with your brain health? It may be hard to tell. And what if you could keep age-related mental decline at bay? Maybe even help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease? It’s probably worth at least trying to Biohacking Your Brain!

According to Merriam-Webster, biohacking using “science and technology to make the body function better and more efficiently.” The language and the concept started in tech and is considered “DIY biology.” Adjusting your food, exercise, sleep, meditation, nootropics, supplements and more is becoming more and more popular.

If you want to support your brain health, stabilize your mood, improve your executive function, enhance your clarity and focus, and help prevent degenerative brain disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s, biohacking your brain is the perfect place to start. 

CAN NUTRITION ENHANCE BRAIN HEALTH?

One way to biohack your brain health is by supporting your memory and brain function with nutrients and antioxidants your brain needs. Basics like making sure you’re always adequately hydrated and that you’re emphasizing plants in your diet can help fulfill your brain’s basic nutrient needs. And strenuous exercise (doctor approved, of course!) can help elevate blood flow of nutrients to the brain and can even act as a natural antidepressant.

The number one reason we all need to pay attention to using nutrition to keep our brains healthy is that the typical American diet includes too few of the specific nutrients the brain needs like carotenoids, omega-3s and vitamin E. Even if you emphasize brain-focused nutrition in your daily menu, it’s really tough to get the recommended amount that your brain needs to perform at its highest levels or to preclude age-related brain degenerative conditions, like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Scientific research has demonstrated that people with high concentrations of carotenoids and omega-3s in their brain matter are shown to have higher cognitive function. Scientists have also proven that patients with Alzheimer's disease are typically deficient in these specific brain-health-related nutrients.

Research also tells us that the average brain requires 12 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin a day. Unfortunately, the typical American citizen gets less than 10% of those amounts. We’re lucky that today, there are brain health supplements to make up the difference between what we’re getting and what we need for ultimate brain functioning and future protection.

Nourishing Your Brain health Through your diet

Scientific research tells us that nutrition is the secret to brain health. And studies tell us that more than 90 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals they need from their daily diet. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, across almost every age range, Americans eat too few vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, seafood, and oil, while eating too much when it comes to less nutritious and more damaging food like refined grains, added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. This typical American diet is simply not good for brain health, which is why brain health supplements are becoming more and more popular.

Here’s a bit of advice for getting better, more brain boosting nutrition with your daily meals and snacks:

Eat a balanced diet that includes three or more portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Specifically, look for evidence of high antioxidants in the rich colors of the veggies you choose. Choose colorful options like green peppers, red tomatoes, purple grapes, dark red or blue berries, and yellow or orange carrots.

When making your meal selection (if you’re not vegetarian or vegan) include proteins like fish, beans, chicken and lean cuts of pork and beef. And be sure to consume foods high in omega-3s like cold water sourced fish like salmon, as well as walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds.

Even if you’re making some good choices, you can cancel out the benefits of all of those antioxidants if you consume too many foods that cause inflammation like sugar, contain a lot of chemicals, are high in saturated or trans fats, are highly processed, or are high in salt.

WHAT ARE BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS? 

Brain supplements, also known as nootropics, are natural supplements or medications known to do any of the following:

  • Enhance brain power 
  • Strengthen cognitive thinking 
  • Boost memory 
  • Promote alertness or overcome sleepiness 
  • Increase creativity 
  • Level out mood swings 
  • Promote future brain health 
  • Help minimize risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease 

NOOTROPICS VS. BRAIN Health SUPPLEMENTS

What brain health supplements are considered nootropics? This is tricky because not all nootropics are created equal !  Nootropics are known as cognitive enhancers.  They are a category of brain supplements that boost cognitive performance.  

Nootropics can be natural, synthetic or pharmaceutical. Synthetic nootropics, like Adderall and other stimulants (including caffeine and B12) can improve immediate focus, but research shows that they can actually harm cognitive function over time. Synthetic and pharmaceutical nootropics may not be the best choice, as they can contain addictive ingredients that can cause long-term negative side effects.

Natural nootropics, on the other hand, are beneficial for many areas of brain health (both immediate and long term); cognitive function, executive function, memory, mental health and other benefits, without all the harmful side effects that come with synthetic and pharmaceutical.   If are shopping for a nootropic, look for a natural formula that will also support your long term brain health in addition to cognition.  

How to shop fop brain health supplements

We hope we’re inspiring you to do some research into which brain health supplements are best for you personally. First things first, why are you interested in these supplements? What are your goals for supplementing your brain function and health? Are you looking to feel more alert? Is your short term memory letting you down so you’d like to boost it a bit? Do you hope to stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s? 

Brain health supplements can do all of those things, though you may need to look to different supplements for the unique benefits you’re focused on. First we recommend learning what to avoid when shopping for a brain supplement.

DO BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS WORK?

Many brain health supplements are well-researched and proven to be helpful to cognitive function, memory and future brain health, though be mindful of what you’re purchasing, because there seem to be just as many brain health supplements that aren’t well-researched and don’t help in any way.

Look for research that’s published by well-known colleges and universities. Read through the research to make sure that the sample size is adequate for the results that the product promises. For example, if the study is based on results from 21 people participating, it’s not as credible as a study where 1,000 or more people were reporting their results from using the product. Because there are many products making false promises in the brain health supplement market, it’s even more important that you do your own research before you choose which one you should take.

Always read the fine print! If a particular brain supplement has a warning about a potential harmful negative interaction with a medication you are currently taking, we recommend that you consult your pharmacist or physician to ensure your safety BEFORE you take that supplement.

We also recommend that you prioritize “natural” nootropics over synthetics, as natural nootropics typically have less negative side effects. We’ve listed a sampling of the more popular varieties below:

POPULAR INGREDIENTS FOUND IN BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS


Acetyl-L-carnitine

Acetyl-L carnitine, also known as ALCAR, is considered a therapeutic agent that is believed to have several benefits for traumatic brain injury, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s believed to be both cardio-protective and neuro-protective, by reducing oxidative stress on both the brain and the heart. 


Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri, a naturally growing herb, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Ancient scholars actually used it to enhance memory when they needed to memorize extended teachings and recent studies confirm that it can help repair damaged brain cells and boost the generation and regeneration of new cells.


Carotenoids

According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, “ Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red pigments synthesized by plants. The most common carotenoids in North American diets are carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene.” Research has shown that these nutrients can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers, enhance cognitive function, and support eye health.


Creatine

Creatine is naturally occurring in meat, seafood and dairy products. Popular for increasing energy levels for athletes, It’s also been shown to enhance cognitive functioning in people who don’t consume those foods. Research shows that it’s effective for increasing short term memory and reasoning in healthy individuals.


Caffeine

Most coffee drinkers are intimately familiar with how caffeine can increase alertness, though did you know that it’s also been proven to enhance memory? It’s true. According to Johns Hopkins University, caffeine has a positive effect on long term memory. The downside? Caffeine may leave you feeling energetic, though it can also increase your anxiety and cause you to get jittery. Like anything else, it should be consumed in moderate amounts, to avoid negative side effects like irritability, an upset stomach, and an elevated resting heart rate.


DHA

DHA, a group of Omega-3 fatty acids, is important for healthy brain function, supporting both overall brain health and boosting cognitive functioning. It’s found in cold water fish like Salmon, along with flax and chia seeds. However, it may be difficult to get it in enough quantity to make a difference through diet alone.


Fish Oil

Fish oil is definitely your friend when it comes to brain health. It’s made up of several essential fatty acids, which are important to brain function and decreasing inflammation. Deficiencies of these fats have been linked to mood disorders.


Ginkgo Biloba

You’ve probably heard of Ginkgo Biloba, as it’s been a popular supplement for the last several decades. It’s a known antioxidant that increases blood flow to the brain. Several studies demonstrate that it can help with memory problems for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 


Lutein

Lutein has become known as the “ eye vitamin” due to its popularity as an eye health supplement. Lutein is also linked to cognitive benefits, long-term brain health, and Alzheimer's Disease. This plant-based pigment isn’t naturally created by the body, so supplementation is required to get optimal amounts.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Some people refer to Omega-3s as brain food. They’re essential fats, meaning our bodies can't produce them, so we have to ingest them and get them through our diet. They’re vital nutrients for healthy brain function and fight inflammation in the brain.


Resveratrol

The potential brain health effects of resveratrol began to surface in the 1990s, when scientists first recognized the positive effects of red wine in lowering dementia risk. Further research showed that resveratrol, which is also present in dark berries, grape juice, peanuts, cocoa and berries like blueberries and cranberries. Clinical trials have supported these findings, showing that participants showed steady blood levels of beta-amyloid-40, a protein that is decreases in the blood during Alzheimer’s disease.


Vitamin E

Natural Vitamin E, also known as D-Alpha Tocopherol, is a vital nutrient for brain health, because of its powerful antioxidant properties. It’s a strong antioxidant so it protects brain cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, which are produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke or ultraviolet radiation. Vitamin E is important to many parts of the body, including eyesight, reproductive health, blood chemistry and, of course, brain health.


Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin

Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin are specific antioxidant carotenoids found in leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, or for Meso-Zeaxanthin in fish like trout. Unfortunately, in our current food system, it’s near impossible to ingest these nutrients in amounts that can actually benefit our brain health. Professor Riona Mulcahy, Consultant Physician in General and Geriatric Medicine at University Hospital Waterford in Ireland, told us,"The difficulty is that to get the amount of these nutrients that you need per day to achieve these results, it isn't possible from your normal everyday diet. You would need to eat 200,000 trout to get the amount of Meso-Zeaxanthin.”


RHODIOLA ROSEA

Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant that has been a part of medicinal traditions in Europe, Asia and Russia for hundreds of years. Some research shows that it relieves mental fatigue and can alleviate depressive symptoms.

TAKE A BRAIN HEALTH ASSESSMENT

Should you take a brain health assessment to see how your brain is currently functioning? Sure! Why not do what you can to understand the current functioning of your brain? And if the results indicate you may need a bit of support, keep reading for more information on brain health supplements that may help.

For the best medical brain health assessment, you’ll want to see your doctor or a neurologist. Alternately, you can get a limited look at your brain health by using an online cognitive tool. There are several online assessments available. These tests, which typically take less than a half hour to complete, claim to measure your ability to solve problems, test your memory, and query your daily habits and stress levels. Daily habits and how you manage challenges in your life are just two of the behavioral factors that can affect your brain health. What you eat, your fitness level, how hydrated you are and how much sleep you’re getting are just a few of the factors that can affect both your mental function and your brain health.

Ready to find your starting point, before you start taking brain health supplements? We like this brain test from MyBrainTest.org: http://bit.ly/HealthyBrainTestMH

A word of warning: Be wary of any online brain health assessments that claim to give you a medical diagnosis like bipolarism, depression or anxiety. You’ll need to see a qualified mental health professional to get a medical diagnosis for any psychological or physical condition.

Brain health supplements on Amazon

There are several brain health supplements available on Amazon. We’ve listed some of them below:

FOCUS FACTOR

Focus Factor claims to be “an advanced formulation that improves memory, concentration and focus. Focus Factor Extra Strength takes the original, clinically tested Focus Factor formula and increases the level of key selected neuro-nutrients.” Active ingredients include DMAE, Vitamin D, DHA and Bacopa.


VITAL BRAIN BOOSTER

Vital Brain Booster promises to reduce fatigue and mental fogginess, with “brain vitamins that contain DMAE, which may produce feelings of improved mental clarity, cognitive ability, memory and physical energy … the Brain Booster supplement is a natural nootropic pill that may provide memory-enhancing results that help to improve brain health and memory.” Its primary ingredient is ginkgo biloba.


GENIUS CONSCIOUSNESS

The makers of Genius Consciousness say that their product can “reduce brain fog and clear the cobwebs holding you back from achieving limitless status … with Phosphatidylserine, Acetyl L Carnitine HCL and L-Tyrosine for higher level thought processing, dopamine production and nerve support.”


NATROL COGNIUM TABLETS

Natrol Cognium Tablets is derived from an active ingredient, cognium, which is found in the threads of silkworm cocoons. The company claims that their product improves memory and recall in healthy adults.  


NEURO PEAK BRAIN SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT

Neuro Peak Brain Support Supplement supports memory and cognition, and is said to “help support oxygen and circulation in the brain, brain cells and neurons.” Its active ingredients are Vitamin B12, Bacopa monnieri, Ginkgo Biloba, and Rhodiola rosea.


MEMORY HEALTH®

Memory Health® was developed by scientists who were studying the critical role of nutrition for brain health. The Memory Health formula has been clinically-proven to support brain health, improving memory, cognitive function, executive function, mental health, mood stabilization, and clarity of focus. These clinically proven results were published in the  scientific Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Its active ingredients include Carotenoids, Omega-3s and Vitamin E.  

WHY MEMORY HEALTH® IS YOUR BEST BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENT CHOICE

Significant research supports the claims made by the makers of Memory Health®, that it’s one of the best brain health supplements on the market. The Memory Health supplement delivers targeted nutrients, through the brain-blood barrier, directly to the brain in a concentrated dose with just a few daily, easy-to-swallow gel caps.

The science behind Memory Health has proven that it protects and supports brain health, with measurable improvements in memory, cognitive function, executive function, mental health, mood, and focus/clarity. The patented formula combines plant-based nutrients (called carotenoids - specifically Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin); the Omega-3s DHA and EPA; and Vitamin E in its natural form.

These ingredients have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce oxidative stress on the brain, fend off harmful free radicals, and reduce inflammation. Its ingredients also promote healthy cell membranes, which are important for brain connections which support memory, cognition, and emotional well-being.

Memory Health is made up of plant-based nutrients, vitamins, lipids, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Studies link those specific nutrients directly to having healthy brain function. Memory Health’s patented formula of powerful plant-based nutrients is loaded with carotenoids Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin), along with Omega-3 fish oil (DHA and EPA) and Natural Vitamin E. Memory Health® was created and tested in clinical trials on brains with a variety of health statuses from young to aged, and diseased to healthy. The results showed demonstrated improvement in cognitive function, executive function, memory, focus/clarity, mood management, mental health and total brain health.

Memory Health is made of natural, non-gmo ingredients - gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and cruelty-free with zero additives, zero preservatives. It’s made in the USA following pharmaceutical-grade standards. And unlike other nootropics on the market, Memory Health has no negative or long-term side effects. To learn more about the ingredients in Memory Health, visit Supplement Facts for a full breakdown of the ingredients.

WHAT SETS MEMORY HEALTH® APART FROM OTHER BRAIN health SUPPLEMENTS?

Unlike other nootropics and brain supplements you’ll find for sale, Memory Health® doesn't rely on peer group analysis and reviews tp support its claims. The patented Memory Health formula has been tested in clinical trials on both diseased and healthy brains. The results, which were published in the scientific Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, showed measurable improvements in cognitive functions, memory, mood, and overall brain health across both groups of healthy and diseased brains. Click to read the full scientific research behind Memory Health.

THE OMEGA-3S IN MEMORY HEALTH® BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS 

Let’s talk about nutrition for your brain, more specifically the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These are noted as “essential” fatty acids because our bodies can’t produce them and we have to ingest them. Plus, they’re required for building new cells. Basically, they’re the building blocks for healthy cell membranes, which provide important support for the connections between your brain and the rest of your body, as well as supporting memory, cognition, and mental health. Foods high in omega-3 include cold water fish like salmon.

Omega-3s are vital for maintaining a healthy brain and healthy aging, from pregnancy and early life through to your elder years. They fight inflammation in the brain, which is critically important today. In today’s busy-busy-busy culture, our bodies and our minds are constantly subject to very high levels of stress, which can cause chronic inflammation over extended periods of time. Researching natural methods for reducing inflammation, like supplementing your diet with omega-3s should be a priority for anyone who wants to have a healthy brain now and in the future.


5 Scientifically-Proven Health Benefits of Omega-3s:

  1. Promote brain health for your baby in utero, throughout pregnancy, and the child’s early years 
  2. Fight inflammation in both brain and body. 
  3. Reduce depression and anxiety. 
  4. Stave off age-related mental decline, dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. 
  5. Enhance eye health/vision, skin health and brain health/cognitive function.  

HOW DO THE INGREDIENTS IN MEMORY HEALTH® GET TO THE BRAIN

The nutrients in Memory Health are 100% bioavailable because they are made of ingredients, including the carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, that are already highly concentrated in the brain. Your brain is made up of 60% fat; 40% of that fat is DHA. Since DHA and EPA already exist in the brain, they can easily permeate the blood-brain barrier. Basically, Memory Health’s supplemental nutrients can easily go directly to the brain and start creating their healthy benefits right away.

The Memory Health formula takes its effectiveness a few steps further with the addition of D-Alpha Tocopherol, which is another name for Natural Vitamin E. This additional antioxidant reduces oxidation of the Memory Health raw materials, which helps to maintain the integrity and bioavailability of these powerful supplements.

What people are saying about the memory health® brain health supplement

Here’s what some of the people that take the Memory Health brain health supplement have to say about the product. 

DAVID R, 62

David is a 62 year old man who experienced two traumatic brain injuries in a five year time period. He became convinced of the value of nootropics, and specifically Memory Health, by his son, an avid online researcher.

“I am sure that within the first 2 weeks, I noticed a change. I was more on point in all aspects of my life and just had a better sense of well-being. I took a huge leap in my cognitive therapy sessions and life normalized; an idea I almost gave up on. I am not one to review many products online, but this one has changed my life. I recommend Memory Health every chance I get.” — David R. 


AARON C, 24

Aaron, age 24, has a history of dementia in his family and was concerned about his own future brain health. It may be surprising to hear that someone as young as Aaron would be so concerned about future brain disease, though if you’ve had a family member or friend diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you know how frightening it can be. Aaron discovered the Memory Health brain health supplement with a Google search and decided to give it a try. He said that he’s noticed positive changes in both his memory and his cognitive functioning and feels great about supporting his future brain health, too..

“My short term memory, something that's always bothered me, has noticeably improved. I feel less brain fog throughout the day, and it's easier for me to stay focused on tasks. I also feel less eye strain from staring at screens for long periods of time, as my job requires a lot of screen time, which used to result in headaches at the end of a long day. I also feel like my mood is more consistently elevated since I've started taking Memory Health. I would recommend this product to not only anyone who's concerned about maintaining their mental health, but also to anyone who wants to improve their general quality of life on a daily basis!” — Aaron C.


JEAN S, 36

Jean is a 36 year old woman who has struggled with career stress and anxiety symptoms for much of her adult life. She began Memory Health at the recommendation of her ND and has noticed a dramatic effect in treating her mental health, managing her anxiety, and excelling in her fast paced work environment.

“I am 36 years old, and have long struggled with anxiety symptoms such as feeling consistently stressed, mentally drained and unable to maintain focus. I work in a highly competitive sales environment in which I am traveling weekly, with a billion "to do" items to remember, and must always put my best self forward. About 6 months ago, my ND recommended MemoryHealth to me, that this supplement helps with mental function, which might help me find balance within my stressful schedule. I have been taking it consistently since and have noticed some very real benefits... Being more clear and focused on immediate tasks (such as driving, which I do a ton of!) without fatigue, remembering the little things I need to do without having to note every little detail in my phone (which used to be my absolute lifeline). Most notably, the little undercurrent feeling of panic that I have forgotten something important has become so infrequent that when I do notice it, I just cant believe I used to feel it all the time. I never leave reviews (who has time?!) but this product has made such a difference for me I thought I should share my experience. If any of this resonates, I strongly encourage giving MemoryHealth a try.” — Jean S.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.