The Best Supplements For Memory Loss

Losing your ability to remember events from the past or even what you ate for breakfast can take a toll on your quality of life. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), one in nine adults aged 45 and older report memory loss or confusion (via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Occasional forgetfulness is not a cause for concern, according to the Mayo Clinic. This type of memory loss can be seen as we age but usually doesn't affect our ability to complete our daily tasks at work or home. However, progressive memory loss can be due to serious health conditions such as Alzheimer's or dementia.

Some common causes of memory loss are reversible with treatment or lifestyle changes. Common conditions that cause reversible or short-term memory loss are smoking, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, brain tumors, emotional disorders, minor head injuries, and vitamin B12 deficiency (per Mayo Clinic). If you're looking to boost your memory, taking a supplement could help.

Omega-3 fatty acids promote improved memory

Many of us know that omega-3 fatty acids are important for health. However, many of us are deficient. A 2020 article in the journal Nutrients discussed how most of the world is deficient in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long-chain marine omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important building block of the brain. DHA, in particular, is highly prevalent in the brain.

Thus, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has been shown to improve memory. In a 2019 study published in Nutrition Reviews, long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements were given to older adults who did not have dementia but had mild cognitive impairment. The memory of the participants improved after taking the supplement. High amounts of omega-3s can be found in foods such as fish, oysters, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. However, taking an omega-3 supplement can ensure that you are getting enough to improve your memory.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with poor memory

Vitamin B12 is necessary for several functions in the body. According to Healthline, vitamin B12 is important for energy production, making DNA, and proper functioning of the central nervous system. Although Vitamin B12 is present in many foods we eat, such as meat, dairy, and fortified products, vitamin B12 deficiency is common (via Healthline).

As we age, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 from our food decreases, which can lead to deficiency. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly overlooked by healthcare professionals, according to Healthline. If you are having problems with your memory or concentration, it could be a sign of a B12 deficiency. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging revealed older men and women are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency, and that low vitamin B12 levels were associated with poor memory in men. A vitamin B12 supplement may help to improve vitamin B12 levels and memory.

Folate supplements can lower your risk for Alzheimer's

Folate, also known as vitamin B9, plays an important role in maintaining healthy function in the body. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, folate breaks down homocysteine, an amino acid that can be harmful to the body at high levels. Folate is naturally found in foods such as leafy greens, peanuts, eggs, and seafood. Folate is added to foods in the form of folic acid, which is better absorbed by the body. According to Medical News Today, some of the signs of a folate deficiency are memory loss and problems with judgment and understanding. Folate deficiency is commonly seen in alcoholism, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. If you have a folate deficiency, you will likely be deficient in other vitamins and nutrients.

Folate deficiency is commonly seen in disorders that affect memory. A 2021 review published in Frontiers in Neuroscience discussed how folate levels were lower in Alzheimer's patients. Adequate folate levels decreased the risk of folate deficiency and reduced the occurrence of Alzheimer's.