Best Nootropic Supplements for Improving Memory and Cognition
Early indicators of Alzheimer’s or dementia include forgetting why you entered a room, leaving your keys, or going blank on someone’s name. These common memory lapses affect persons in their twenties as well, which young people simply ignore.
According to recent studies, we begin to lose our memories in our early 20s. Neurotransmitters that are necessary for optimal learning and memory are not created in the same quantities as they are in our teens.
A poll of nearly 20000 adults aged 18 to 99 was performed at the University of California. Several lifestyle and health questions were posed to the participants. The researchers concentrated on factors that have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which included depression, diabetes, a lack of education, obesity, and smoking etc. It was found that these risk variables, according to the researchers, enhanced the likelihood of memory loss. The astonishing thing was that memory issues were reported by people of all ages, young adults included.
Another study in South Korea discovered that those who spend a lot of time on their phones and computers have poor short-term memory. This has been dubbed “digital dementia” by researchers. Overuse of cell phones and gaming gadgets appears to disrupt normal brain development. The left hemisphere of the brain overdevelops when these devices are used frequently, but the right hemisphere remains underdeveloped. Early-onset dementia can be caused by underdevelopment of the right hemisphere of the brain.
Psychiatric disease, stroke, tumours, and traumatic brain injury are all common causes of brain damage. Problems with attention, memory, organisation, direction, problem solving, logic, and social communication manifest in real life. This is true for old and young alike. We are living in a time when more and more young people are experiencing memory loss.
However, there are immediate steps one can take to increase learning and memory. The good news is that nootropic supplements can help you avoid and reverse these cognitive and memory deficiencies. This is true for people of all ages. Even those in their twenties and thirties.
What are Nootropics?
The term “nootropics” — aka cognitive enhancers, first referred to chemicals that met very specific criteria. But now it’s used to refer to any natural or synthetic substance that may have a positive impact on mental skills. In general, nootropics fall into three general categories: dietary supplements, synthetic compounds, and prescription drugs.
Best Nootropics Supplements
CDP-Choline helps improve memory.
CDP-Choline (Citicoline, Cognizin®)- seems to increase a brain chemical called phosphatidylcholine. This brain chemical is important for brain function. Citicoline might also increase the amounts of other chemicals that send messages in the brain – enhances the release of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine (ACh).
Dopamine and norepinephrine are directly involved in attention, alertness, focus, learning and memory. And acetylcholine and its receptors are required for the encoding of new memories. Acetylcholine also stimulates astrocyte cells which are induced to release glutamate. This process in your hippocampus is another reason acetylcholine (ACh) helps boost memory.
Possibly Effective For
- Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. Taking citicoline seems to help memory lossin people aged 50 to 85 years.
- A group of eyedisorders that can lead to vision loss (glaucoma). Taking citicoline by mouth, as a shot, or as eye drops might improve vision in some people with glaucoma.
- When taken by mouth: Citicoline is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 90 days. Most people who take citicoline by mouth don’t experience side effects. But some people can have side effects such as trouble sleeping (insomnia), headache, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain, blurred vision, chest pains, and others. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if taking citicoline by mouth long-term is safe or what the side effects might be.
- When given by IV: Citicoline is POSSIBLY SAFE when given by a healthcare provider. Most people who are given citicoline by IV don’t experience problematic side effects.
- When given as a shot: Citicoline is POSSIBLY SAFE when given by a healthcare provider. Most people who are given citicoline as a shot don’t experience problematic side effects.
Brahmi – Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) – is a medicinal herb used in India by Ayurvedic practitioners. It has soft stems which bear bright green oval leaves and small white flowers. Ancient Ayurvedic texts recommended Bacopa to devotees to help memorize long passages of text.
Brahmi is used for Alzheimer’s disease, improving memory, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergic conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a general tonic to fight stress.
The bacosides A and B in Bacopa help improve signalling between neurons in brain resulting in better word recall, attention, memory, increased focus while learning, and less anxiety and lower heart rate.
The most noteworthy benefit of Brahmi is that it improves cognitive skills and stimulates the mind to improve memory and concentration. Researchers found that six weeks of daily treatment with bacopa, twice a day (at a dose of 300 mg per day) led to improvements in test results, relating to cognitive function.
Bacopa also helps protect your brain from heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) during periods of chronic stress making you less susceptible to the memory loss associated with stress.
Bacopa may cause side effects such as Nausea, Stomach cramps, Bloating, Diarrheal, Increased bowel movements, Dry mouth, and Fatigue.
Bacopa may also increase calcium levels in the blood.
It could also affect levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Neurotransmitters transmit messages between neurons and between neurons and muscles.
L-theanine is a non-dietary amino acid found primarily in green and black tea and some mushrooms. It’s also available in pill or tablet form.
It has been used for a variety of conditions including anxiety, cognitive impairment, to improve mental alertness, and boost immune function.
L-theanine is one of the few nootropics that has been shown to affect brain waves. It has an effect on alpha and theta brain waves, which are linked to mental alertness and creativity.
L-Theanine promotes super-learning and memory, flow moods, and joy by providing an alert tranquilly. L-theanine also increases serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels in the brain. It increases the production of BDNF and NGF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor, respectively) (NGF).
There haven’t been any reported side effects from taking L-theanine. Although drinking lots of green tea can cause upset stomach and irritability from the caffeine.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a version of the amino acid L-Tyrosine that is extremely bioavailable. L-Tyrosine is converted to L-DOPA in your brain. Decarboxylation of L-DOPA leads to the production of dopamine.
In the prefrontal cortex, NALT improves working memory and executive function. It aids in the development of creative flow states, inspiration, cognitive flexibility, and the type of “convergent thinking” required in multiple choice exams.
As cognitive load increases, L-Tyrosine gives more cognitive enhancement. And it’s especially good for enhancing cognition and memory during times of stress.
Although not all side effects are known, L-Tyrosine is thought to be likely safe in most adults when taken for up to 3 months. Some side effects may include nausea, heartburn, headache, joint pain or feeling tired.
Before taking Nootropic supplements, talk to your healthcare provider to know your safe dosage, which may depend on factors like your age and health.
Exercising regularly and getting proper nutrition daily can help with a good memory.
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Abhinav Malhotra is an award-winning personal trainer, coach and sports nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. He also offers online services to clients around the world. A personal trainer par excellence, Abhi has worked with the world’s leading fitness chains, supplement brands and founded his own fitness academy in India. He has achieved successes for many clients from all backgrounds and has trained the Indian Army Rugby Team. He is the first International Kettlebell Sport athlete from India.