3 Brain Boosters To Improve Your Memory, Clarity and Cognitive Function
Posted Oct 02 2012 3:41pm
Boost Your Brain!
I was in New York City this past weekend to photograph a wedding , and while I was in town I saw my doctor at The Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine . During our conversation I casually mentioned that my memory stinks, and he enthusiastically suggested three brain-boosting supplements that he was sure would make a big difference for me. In fact, he said I may find that I’m so “on” as a result that it might be too much, and perhaps I should start with just one or two.
Is he for real? You mean, there’s actually something I can do about the fact that my brain only gets really clear and optimally functioning between the hours of 9 pm and 1 am, or 3 am upon waking from a dream? I am a single mom, and those hours just don’t fit into a schedule that requires waking up at 6:30 am to bring my daughter to the bus each morning. But, the unfortunate truth is that the space above my neck feels like a sack of potatoes during normal daytime hours.
The best I’ve been able to do to address this thus far is green tea or a green juice, which does provide a short window (between 30 minutes to 1 hour) of idea surges, productivity and focus. But I want more. So I was thrilled to learn of these three brain boosters. And the best part is, they’ll cost you under $36 total to purchase all three! I just ordered mine and will keep you posted as to the changes I notice. I invite you to try them out as well and share with me and our community what results you find.
SUGGESTED DOSE: 1/2 dropper in water, 2 times a day
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) is a liquid organic compound that’s naturally produced in the brain, and can also be found in sardines, anchovies, squid and salmon. Fortunately, it’s also sold as a supplement, so I can continue to avoid eating creatures of extreme ickyness, like squid. It is said to enhance brain function and mood and proponents claim that it increases the brain’s production of acetylcholine, which affects functions such as short-term memory, learning, REM sleep and attention. It’s also used in skin care products for its anti-wrinkle and skin-toning effects.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, who speaks publicly about DMAE’s benefits on places like CNN and the Dr. Oz show, says it decreases anxiety, boosts dopamine effects and improves energy. However, it is apparently controversial, since the scientific studies aren’t ironclad.
That said, my doc has his finger on the figurative pulse of these things and says the anecdotal evidence from his patients suggests that it is, indeed, effective in improving cognitive function.
Consult Your Doctor Before Taking If: You’re pregnant, lactating, or have schizophrenia or clonic-tonic seizure disorders.
SUGGESTED DOSE: 1 capsule two times daily.
Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) is a powerful mitochondrial antioxidant that promotes healthy cognitive and cardiovascular function. ALC is a precursor to the critical brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which contributes to the support of cognitive function and memory. It’s been shown to reduce both the physical and mental fatigue associated with aging. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, as labels like to tell you, but again, my doc sees ample evidence in his practice of this supplement’s brain-friendly benefits.
Consult Your Doc Before Taking If: You’re pregnant or lactating, diabetic, hypoglycemic, or have a known medical conditions and/or are taking other drugs.
SUGGESTED DOSE: 1 cap daily
Huperzine A is a highly purified drug derived from a plant called Chinese club moss. It’s sold as a dietary supplement and thought to be beneficial for problems with memory, loss of mental abilities (dementia), and the muscular disorder myasthenia gravis because it causes an increase in the levels of acetylcholine. Yup, acetylcholine seems to be the key to improved cognitive function, and increasing it is a key function of the other two brain boosters I listed here. Acetylcholine is an important chemical that our nerves use to communicate in critical places like our brain and muscles.
The botanical version of Huperzine A has been used in China for centuries for the treatment of swelling, fever, and blood disorders. Clinical trials in China have shown it to be effective in improving cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer’s diseaseand enhancing memory in students. Currently, several drugs containing Huperzine A are being developed to treat Alzheimer’s.
Consult Your Doctor Before Taking If: You’re pregnant or breastfeeding, have epilepsy, heart disease, a gastrointestinal tract blockage, peptic ulcers, lung conditions like asthma or emphysema, or a urinary or reproductive system blockage.