Top Memory-boosting Vitamins and Supplements
It’s very likely that your brain simply hasn’t been getting the nutrients it needs to remember everything and successfully perform other functions in your body. Being deficient in vitamins hinders your memory, focus, attention span and clarity.
This article will help explain which vitamins are crucial for your brain and list all key vitamins for memory.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “what vitamins are good for memory?” you have come to the right place.
Tackling Memory Loss with B Complex Vitamins
B vitamins are often called “happy vitamins” or “anti-stress vitamins”. Your mood and reduce stress levels are positively influenced by Vitamin B.
B vitamins are involved in the production of the neurotransmitters which are vital for a healthy mind. If you have a Serotonin deficiency, you could be suffering from anxiety, insomnia, low self-esteem, negative thoughts, OCD, and even SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
To prohibit being stressed or overwhelmed make sure you have sufficient levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). The stress hormone Dopamine helps you stay focused. A sign that you need more Dopamine is relying on caffeine, sugar, and chocolate to get you through the day.
Taking B complex vitamins can improve your neurotransmitter balance and your overall well-being. A study researched and found that taking vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid together reduces brain atrophy, improves overall brain function, and dramatically reduces brain shrinkage in the part of the brain that is most affected in Alzheimer’s.
Common Vitamin B12 deficiencies
People who suffer from brain fog or memory loss might be deficient in Vitamin B12 which is arguably one of the best vitamins for memory. Roughly 40% of adults in the US are deficient. This deficiency can lead to a wide range of mental disorders like dementia, depression, and even Schizophrenia.
In a worst case scenario, it can also cause brain atrophy and shrinkage which is as scary as it sounds.
Seniors who often have poor absorption are likely suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegetarians are deficient in B12 as it’s found in animal products. 90% of vegans are also deficient.
Vitamin B12 supplements can easily bring your levels back to normal quickly. Find a supplement with the best-absorbed forms of vitamin B12, Methylcobalamin or Adenosylcobalamin. We advise that you take all the B vitamins together in a balanced B complex formula since these occur together in nature.
Food sources that are abundant in B Vitamins for memory
Green leafy vegetables, legumes, fruit, eggs, fish, poultry, bananas, carrots, spinach, peas, and potatoes.
All animal products including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy contain Vitamin B12.
Vitamin C as a popular antidepressant
Vitamin C is widely taken to prevent and reduce the effects of common cold and many allergies. The effects on the brain are less known and few people take it as a memory vitamin.
By increasing the neurotransmitter Serotonin, vitamin C acts as a natural antidepressant. This vitamin protects against age-related mental decline, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
The brain is susceptible to free radical damage because of high oxygen usage, vitamin C is used as one of the most potent antioxidant vitamins, neutralizing the damage.
Stacked with Vitamin E, Vitamin C becomes even more effective. Vitamin C acts as a powerful detoxifier that crosses the blood-brain barrier to remove heavy metals like lead, mercury, and aluminum from the brain so smokers need more vitamin C.
Our body uses vitamin C to suppress formation of the stress hormone Cortisol. Even if you are eating the recommended 9 servings of fruit and vegetables every day, it is a supplement that you almost certainly would benefit from.
Food sources that are abundant in Vitamin C
Cantaloupe, all citrus fruits, berries of all kinds, pineapple, peppers of all kinds, tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes, cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, winter squash.
Vitamin D for memory: Here is your sunshine
Vitamin D has amazing effects on the brain during all stages of our life from prenatal development through our senior years.
Getting adequate vitamin D throughout adult life can counter cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. It can also help improve memory, mood and increase problem-solving abilities.
Inadequate levels of Vitamin D lead to the depression many people feel in the winter. The usual rule of thumb is “20 minutes of sun twice a week” on a large surface area of your body, such as arms or legs, for adequate vitamin D formation.
However, use of sunscreen, the summer season, your latitude, natural skin color, and current UV index affect how efficiently your skin manufactures vitamin D.
Vitamin D in the Northern Hemisphere
In the USA, if you live north of San Francisco, St. Louis, or Richmond, the sun’s rays are too weak to trigger vitamin D production most of the year. The same goes for Canada and Alaska.
Up to 77% of Americans don’t get enough vitamin D. The bottom line is that most people in North America and Europe need to take supplemental vitamin D to enjoy its benefits and provide their brain with all necessary nutrients.
Finding a reputable supplement store is key to getting a quality product. The only way to know for sure if you need vitamin D is to have a blood test to check your 25-hydroxy level. You can see a doctor or buy an online vitamin D test from a quality online lab or the Vitamin D Council.
However even this isnt the perfect way to test Vitamin D amounts as your bones absorb Vitamin D and the whole idea on enough Vitamin D is heavily controversial where some researchers claim up to 10,000 IU is a good amount where others say 1-3,000 IU daily should suffice.
Food sources that are abundant in Vitamin D
Cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, mushrooms, fortified milk.
Vitamin E keeps your mind and soul healthy
Vitamin E is actually a group of eight naturally occurring forms of the same vitamin and the most common form found in many supplements is d-alpha tocopherol.
These supplements are usually taken for heart health. The main brain benefit of this vitamin is preventing mental decline as you age, particularly when coupled with vitamin C.
Vitamin C and E together is a beneficial combination of vitamins for memory loss. When taken together, they’ve been linked to keeping a good memory, slowing memory loss, and even lowering the risk of getting Alzheimer’s and dementia by roughly 60%. Vitamin E can also minimize the damage caused by a stroke. By redirecting blood supply it can prevent brain cells from dying after the stroke.
The best vitamin E supplements contain the “d” form such as d-alpha tocopherol, not the “dl” forms which are instead synthetic.
Food sources that are abundant in Vitamin E
Seeds, nuts, avocados, olive oil, shrimp, green leafy vegetables, broccoli are some food items rich in vitamin E.
Vitamin K is the underrated vitamin that counters memory loss
Vitamin K helps keep your brain sharp as you age and boosts the speed of various brain functions.
It can improve your ability to remember words which is a big problem for many of us as we get age.
Vitamin K plays a role in preventing Alzheimer’s since patients are often deficient.
People who have taken a lot of antibiotics are considered a risk group for people who are deficient in this vitamin.
Food sources that are abundant in Vitamin K
Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, parsley, celery, asparagus, fermented foods like sauerkraut.
Vitamin A deserves an A Plus for Its Benefits
Retinol and Carotenes is found in Vitamin A foods. One of the most important functions of vitamin A is to enhance vision. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that accumulates in your body and you can easily get too much of it from supplements, especially if you are someone who has poor eyesight.
While too much vitamin A also reduces the number of new neurons being created, a safe dose of vitamin A is generally considered to be 10,000 units per day.
Eating foods high in beta carotene will not cause vitamin A toxicity. Beta carotene is turned into vitamin A in the body on an as-needed basis. Beta-carotene is considered pretty safe to consume.
Food sources that are abundant in Vitamin A
Sweet potatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, winter squash, cantaloupe.
Do Multivitamins work for memory?
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that all adults to take a multivitamin supplement as insurance to fill any nutritional gaps.
Taking a high-quality multivitamin supplement should supply your brain with all vitamin necessary. Multivitamin alone can improve your memory and overall brain function if you’re deficient.
Trusted Brands for the Best Vitamins for Memory
When you buy a certain brand, you put your trust in it to deliver what it has advertised. You also trust that the ingredients are in a usable form. Make sure to research various labels before you purchase the brand that you think is right for you! So generally Centrum would not cut it, search for quality multivitamins here.
Brain Specific Supplements:
The price and the fact that they are manufactured in the US in a GMP lab make them a no-brainer to buy.
Final Word on using Vitamins to Improve Memory & Focus
If you really want to improve your memory, make sure you start adding more brain foods to your diet. Take a high-quality multivitamin and consider other vitamins for certain situations. Smokers need more vitamin C, just as vegetarians need more B12.
Consider taking supplements if you are not able to fill in the gap naturally. Whether it is Vitamin K or Lumonol try them and see if they help you improve your focus and brain function. If you are unsure about the safety of taking these, consult your physician first.