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Supplements for Brain Power

The benefits of nutritional supplements traditionally have been confined to the fringes of acceptability. But recent research supports the claims that nutrients, especially vitamins, can protect against a host of ills ranging from birth defects and cataracts to heart disease and cancer. Even more provocative to people are the glimmerings that vitamins can stave off the normal ravages of aging and decreased brain function.

"Supplements can be taken for improved memory and better concentration," says Stoler. "The best known and proven include choline, folic acid, L-Carnitine, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), phosphatidyl serine, B1, B12 and zinc. In addition, some herbs to consider include bacopa extract, club moss (Huperzine A), gingko biloba and vinpocetine. If you have any questions regarding when, how much, where, etc., in regards to any of these supplements, talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to help you find the right supplement for you that will include one that won't interfere with any meds you may currently be taking."

Old wives' tales about the miracle powers of vitamins abound. Well, it's turning out that a lot of the old wives' tales are true. Although people didn't understand how or why certain foods, such as fish, are good for the brain, these ideas became part of our common wisdom. But the latest research has demonstrated that vitamins can, in fact, increase brain power.

"Mom's stories about brain food do have a basis in fact," says Stoler. "Fish, for example, is packed with compounds that help promote optimal mental functioning. The problem is, the most concentrated sources of brain nutrients are found in foods that most Americans have reduced or eliminated from their daily diets, like red meats, organ meats and eggs. I guess we can say that we are finding the answers and results by going back to the beginning."

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