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Do you have trouble recalling names and dates? Does it sometimes feel like your brain isn’t as quick or as sharp as it used to be? Though your doctor tells you that some memory loss is normal as you age, do you sometimes worry that there could be more to the picture?
We’ve long known that input equals output. It doesn’t take much nutritional education to understand that a steady diet of McDonald’s and Oreos produces obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, while a balanced diet of whole foods packed with macro- and micronutrients can produce a totally different body.
There’s a lot going on “under the hood” of the foods we eat. Even if you enjoy a fairly healthy diet, you may still be missing out on some of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential to critical brain functions, such as memory recall and short term retention.
While you may have a good understanding of how carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients play a role in your health, no one will blame you if you can’t muster up an explanation for bacopa or huperzine A!
Nutritional deficiencies and memory problems go hand in hand. While this list is not comprehensive, let’s take a closer look at four nutrients that many people may not consume in their regular, daily diet of whole foods.
Acetylcarnitine (sometimes written as acetyl-l-carnitine) is an amino acid that may support youthful memory and mitochondrial function. This amino acid is natural to the body (it’s present in the brain, kidneys, and liver) and plays a role in producing energy. However, acetylcarnitine levels reduce as age increases.
Some studies suggest that acetylcarnitine may be effective in improving aged brain function. Because the amount of acetylcarnitine tends to decrease in the body over time, many patients choose to use supplements to increase levels. (Technically, a true deficiency of acetylcarnitine is not possible, since it is not an essential nutrient. However “not essential” does not equate to “unnecessary!”)
The University of Michigan has created an in-depth resource of health conditions for which many people use acetylcarnitine. These conditions include age-related cognitive decline as well as other age-related health issues.
Native to India, this plant has been shown in several studies to have a beneficial effect on cognition. Bacopa does this by improving memory formation and reducing anxiety. Many people use bacopa to self-treat Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Multiple studies, such as this one, suggest bacopa may be effective in improving memory.
Sharp-PS (phosphatidylserine) is a naturally occurring brain chemical that multiple studies show may support memory and verbal recall. In fact, phosphatidylserine is the only cognitive bioactive ingredient with a health claim recognized by the FDA.
This study describes how researchers were able to improve memory function among older adults through the use of phosphatidylserine.
Huperzine A is a traditional medicinal herb that supports the acetylcholine neurotransmitter system, which plays a key role in memory and behavior.
Multiple studies have shown that Huperzine A may be effective in improving cognitive function in adults.
If you’re experiencing nutritional deficiencies causing memory problems, try a special blend of nutrients and botanical extracts, such as Brain & Memory Fuel, which is formulated to promote healthy normal blood flow to the brain and support memory and performance.
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