Brain supplements-Are they worth it?

pic11Imagine waking up one morning to find that you cannot recognize your daughter and you have no idea what their name is? The world is full of so much pressure today; the desire to be the best, to compete and shine above others for longer. Everyday someone wants to beat age and brain capacity to be recognized as the best. All this weighs in on your brain and sooner than you know, you are suffering from memory loss and consequently you are on the pill. It can all be summarized into a few words but is it really that simple? Memory loss is quite common for aging people but it is quite possible to suffer from memory loss at any age.

Surprisingly, almost anything can cause memory loss; accidents, depression or simply a side effect of another drug. Many a times when symptoms begin to show, patients and doctors want to quickly find out how serious it is and whether or not the situation is reversible. Interestingly there are so many types of dementia. It all depends on what parts of your memory has been affected. Sometimes, patients only lose part of their memory for instance navigational memory which is responsible for direction. The symptoms of memory damage differ depending on how serious it is. The following are some of the possible symptoms;

Sleep Apnea.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which makes a person to stop breathing for a while during sleep. As a result of this, oxygen supply to the brain is interrupted occasionally during sleep. Sleep apnea affects navigational memory if it is not attended to early enough.


If you are on medication such as anti-depressants, cholesterol control medications, certain painkillers and sleeping pills, you have higher chances of developing memory related problems.

Depression or stress.

This is one of the most common causes of memory loss according to recent research. Stress leads to depression and ultimately brain damage.

Deficiency of Vitamin B12.

Lack of the necessary nutrients in your diet can lead to brain damage. Insufficient amounts of this vitamin brings about confusion which eventually results in brain damage.

In very few circumstances, memory loss can be caused by head injury or infection, brain tumors and extreme cases of drug and alcohol abuse.

What are memory supplements?

Discovering you cannot remember some very basic things in your life can be scary. In such cases, most people would not want to consider basic memory improvement methods such as exercise, diet and less stressing. Instead, most people would resort to the internet which would generously serve you with thousands of supplements that can revert your memory’s condition instantly.

Whichever the cause of memory loss is, it is important to note that the numbers of those affected by memory is increasing each year. To cater for this increasing population, the demand for memory supplements is equally rising by the day. Millions of dollars are spent every year on memory supplements. Some of which have become very popular. The brands selling memory supplements with very promising results have flooded the market. Traditional remedies that have been synthesized to chemically proven ones, all in different packages; herbs, amino acids, fats, vitamins. Almost every manufacturer has managed to come up with a combination for the problem. Consumers are on the other hand desperate and take anything if only to be back to normal for one more time. Question is, are these supplements worth it? Do they really give the results they promise after all the money has been poured on them?


Different brain health facilities offer different combinations for memory loss. In some instance, the supplements are their own natural recipes. Universally, the two main ingredients in memory supplements are Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Phosphatidylserine.

How do memory supplements work?

Basing on these two popular ingredients, memory supplements work as follows;


Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid which has brain boosting capabilities. It produces acetylcholine which acts as a neurotransmitter necessary for the proper functioning of the memory. It works to improve the brain ability to concentrate, focus and also the state of the brain’s mood. It can also reduce the chances of brain damage that results from excessive intake of alcohol. Carnitine is found in red meat and the amounts of carnitine in your body gradually decrease as you age. It is prescribed in some countries as a treatment for heart disease and as a nutritional supplement in others. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is mostly taken by students to boost concentration levels especially during exams.


Phosphatidylserine improves the ability of the phospholipid in the brain cell membrane to control nutrients getting into the brain and wastes that are being released from the brain. This supplement works to balance stress hormones and hence improve overall mood. They are naturally found in body organs such as chicken heart. They are also found in soya beans, tuna and white beans. According to research, phosphatidylserine has been proven to improve performance of golfers. They are commonly used by students as well.

While these two supplements feature in almost every supplement, here are other commonly used memory supplements;

Ginkgo biloba.

This drug from the tree Ginko biloba is mainly a prescription for brain deficiency. There have been conflicting results on whether it really improves mental performance. Inspite of this, it continues to be the most commonly prescribed treatment for various brain deficiencies.

Fish-oil supplements.

Many people believe fish oil is food to the brain. Omega-3 fats in fish are believed to be essential nutrients for the brain.


Vitamin B12 s important for the brain and deficiency of this vitamin causes confusion.


The memory is a very complicated aspect of the brain. Sometimes forgetfulness cannot be a clear indication of memory loss. Age, emotions and many other factors can contribute to this situation.

In spite of the quick results that some of the memory supplements give, safety concerns are also imminent. Some of the supplements like ginkgo biloba have been proven to stop blood clotting in some instances. An excess intake of vitamin E could also increase fat layers on blood vessels posing other risks in the process. It is important to undergo proper medical tests and get advice from a specialist before taking any supplements. It is also important to note that exercising and keeping fit can reduce stress and brain damage in the long run.