Best Supplements for Brain Health
Here are the top expert-recommended supplements that have been shown to improve brain health.
Although brain health tends to decline with age, taking the right supplements can help promote and maintain proper brain health. However, it can be difficult to know which supplements to add to your diet for optimal brain health.
Collagen is becoming increasingly popular in the skin care industry because of its anti-aging effects. Although the body naturally produces collagen in the muscles, skin, bones, and cartilage, production slows with age. In addition to enhancing skin elasticity, collagen has also been shown to protect against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
A 2018 study by NCBI revealed that collagen can enhance stem cell growth as well as promote axonal growth to aid in recovery from injury. Collagen also has the ability to repair and protect the central nervous system, which faces a limited capacity to regenerate. Overall, researchers conclude that collagen is a “promising natural biomaterial … which has the potential to progress the development of therapeutic strategies in the central nervous system.”
Several studies have researched whether fish oil supplements play a role in enhancing brain health. A recent study found that specific types and doses of fish oil have the ability to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. And supplement manufacturers and experts recommend taking omega-3 fatty acids, including at least 1,000 mg DHA and 600 mg EPA daily.
While fish oil supplements play a significant role in benefiting brain health, they should be taken under the supervision of a doctor. Fish oil consumption is safe for most, but it has the potential to cause bleeding. Before adding fish oil to your diet, be sure to consult a health care professional. The Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center offers a neuroscience network of professionals who can help you determine whether fish oil is best for you.
While vitamin D is known for its role in bone health, it has also been shown to protect against cognitive decline and dementia. However, more than half of the people in the United States are deficient in vitamin D. The body’s ability to produce vitamin D decreases with age, and can also be affected by exposure to the sun and obesity.
According to a 2014 study, individuals facing vitamin D deficiencies were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Another study found that lower vitamin D levels led to slower information-processing speeds among men aged from 40 to 79. Vitamin D is also associated with a healthy mood, cardiovascular functioning, immune response, and bone strength.
Magnesium also plays a significant role in maintaining healthy cognitive function. Magnesium is responsible for nerve elasticity, which enables your brain to send and receive messages. In addition to aiding brain functioning, magnesium also controls the absorption of vitamins and converts sugar into energy. To add more magnesium to your diet, make sure to incorporate collard greens, spinach, brown rice, and legumes.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant responsible for making you feel energized and reducing oxidative stress. Neurons, made up of polyunsaturated fats, are extremely susceptible to oxidative damage. Vitamin E works by protecting these fats against oxidation, facilitating brain signaling to other organs throughout the body, including the eyes.
A vitamin E deficiency can result in blurred or reduced vision and has been associated with an increased likelihood of Alzheimer’s. Vitamin E can be found in kale, almonds, eggs, and avocados.
All in all, taking supplements to improve brain health can result in a lowered risk of neurodegenerative diseases and enhance overall cognitive functioning.