Anti aging guide

Nutritional Supplements to Boost Brain Function



How our brain function could be improved with nutritional supplements

If your memory is going, don’t despair. There are dozens of different pills aimed at boosting brain function. In fact there is a befuddling variety of nutritional supplements and products offered to those who want to keep their wits about them.

The claims range widely, from ‘Memory Fuel’ (to improve memory and concentration) to ‘Designer Brainfood’ (which feeds the brain, improves speaking and writing). Some firms offer brain cocktails like `Albert’s Ale’ (named after Albert Einstein and aiming to make the user as clever as he was). If you want to try it, mix 10 drops of ginger extract, 10 drops of red clover, 1 teaspoon of phosphatidyl choline (available from health shops), mixed with grape concentrate and organic apple juice. Tell me if it works.

Many chemicals are touted as effective ‘mind-enhancers’ (also called nootropics), including hydergine, piracetam, ginseng, phosphadytidyl serine, ginkgo biloba and vinpocetine.

Ginkgo and vinpocetine are obtained from plants. Another plant used to improve memory is Bacopa monnieri, also known as the Indian brahmi plant. This contains the active ingredients bacoside A and bacoside B. It has been used for thousands of years in India as a tonic to treat mental problems, lack of concentration and crumbling memory.

This plant is mentioned in three Ayurvedic texts as being effective against brain problems. Modern research on it has been performed mainly in India over the past 50 years. Experiments in rats have shown that it is a brain stimulant, it improves the time necessary to take a decision and boosts memory. No side effects have been found.

The brahmi plant is thought to be the first modem Ayurvedic brain supplement to be introduced to the world, following an initiative by the World Health Organization to stimulate development of traditional plant remedies. This product was launched in 1996 in India and is slowly being promoted around the world.

Many conventional scientists believe that these supplements are useless. Many don’t know enough about them and are unwilling to recommend them. Others examine what research there is and maintain a healthy scepticism. Yet other eminent scientists promote these treatments as miracle cures. Do they work? I personally know dozens of people who have used these supplements without improving one bit. But I also know dozens of others who think that they are wonderful. I think the solution to this dilemma is to try the treatment yourself. If you believe that it is working for you, continue it. If it doesn’t work in two or three months, throw it away.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - February 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm