9 Super Cognitive Supplements To Make You Smarter And Sharper (Health11News)
When it comes to super cognitive supplements, there’s no one-size-fits-all. The good news is that there are supplements likely to not only make you sharper but protect your brain over time. Here are some of the most useful supplements when it comes to enhancing cognition. Many of these are safe to take in combination but start with one supplement at a time to best recognize improvements.
9 Super Cognitive Supplements
Also known as CDP-Choline, citicoline has been shown to improve memory function in men and women with Age-Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI). This nutrient associated with the B-vitamin complex is found in every cell in the body but is essential for the brain’s development and health. While the brain itself produces citicoline, it does so only in small amounts.
Citicoline strengthens nerve membranes, and increases the amount of blood flow into the brain. It raises the brain’s level of neurotransmitters, the nervous system’s messengers between neurons.
Outside of the U.S., it is used for treating cerebrovascular disorders, including stroke. Studies have been conducted on citicoline’s use in the treatment of dementia and cognitive impairment. Another plus –citicoline is apparently very safe. There are no reports of side effects or drug interactions. In Europe, it is known as a “brain tonic.”
2. Fish Oils
Since time immemorial, fish has been part of the human diet. Today, due to the wide availability of fish oil supplements, people can take advantage of these super cognitive supplements to improve brain health.
Fish oils are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. According to an article published in the August 2020 edition of the journal Nutrients, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in fish oils, are extremely important to brain function. This is partly due to marine omega-3s improving neurotransmitter binding and signaling in the brain via maintenance of effective membrane fluidity “optimizing protein channel function in the lipid bi-layer.” Conversely, an omega-3 deficiency in the brain reduces dopamine and serotonin hormone levels, contributing to depression and memory loss.
3. Gingko Biloba
Gingko Biloba derives from the maidenhair tree, a Chinese native. The tree was one of the earliest cultivated by humans. Gingko Biloba products are made from the tree’s leaves.
They contain terpenoids, which can help dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow.
In a study of patients with dementia published in the December 2016 edition of Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience, researchers found that “medication with Gingko Bilboa Extracts (GBEs) showed improvement in cognition and daily activities, and the effect was dose-dependent.” The study notes that significant efficacy was only demonstrated when used in high daily doses (240 mg).
One caveat: Gingko Biloba is not recommended for those with high blood pressure. It may also interact with other medications, so check with your doctor before using this supplement.
4. Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Derived from the bark of the French maritime pine and also known as pycnogenol, this extract has been used medicinally since about 400 BCE. While maritime pine bark extract boasts multiple health benefits –including treatment for asthma, cardiovascular conditions, and diabetes –it is also used to improve cognitive function in the aging brain.
Pycnogenol possesses antioxidant properties, protecting brain cells from oxidative stress. It destroys free radicals that damage brain cells and bear a huge responsibility for functional impairment as we age. Both in vitro animal and human studies confirm its potential use in cognitive function improvement.
5. Medicinal Mushrooms
For thousands of years, humans have used mushrooms for food and medicinal purposes. Of the approximately 14,000 mushroom species, 2,000 are edible. About 15 percent of edible mushrooms have therapeutic properties, including cognitive benefits. Mushrooms are among the original foods as nutraceuticals.
Those medicinal mushrooms with the highest nootropic qualities include:
- Cordyceps–In traditional medicine, Cordyceps sinensis is used to treat a variety of ailments. It can enhance the immune system, boost libido, and relieve symptoms of the common cold. In addition, it can raise mental alertness. In mice studies, it has been shown to improve memory.
- Lion’s Mane –Hericium erinaceus promotes neuronal survival and regeneration of damaged nerves. Lion’s Mane is the mushroom subject to the most clinical studies to date.
- Reishi –As an adaptogen, Ganoderma lucidum promotes brain health via its calming properties and balancing stress reactions. You can’t think clearly while anxious.
6. MyPeak Brilliance
MyPeak’s Brilliance is a nootropic caffeine alternative/replacement supplement that supports eight hours of sustained energy as well as:
- Peak Cognitive Performance
- Long-Term Brain Health
MyPeak’s CEO and co-founder, Bhargav Patel, M.D., is a resident physician in the department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia. Since the age of 16, he has devoted his life to health and wellness. COO and Co-founder Urja Shah, a DO candidate, is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in biology followed by a Masters in biomedical sciences at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is currently a medical student at Campbell University School of Medicine.
The plant metabolites known as flavonoids are loaded with health benefits. Found in fruits and veggies, grains, and other natural substances, flavonoids are now an indispensable part of many nutraceuticals and medications. They may offer protection against cancer and heart disease.
Quercetin, a flavonoid found in fruit and vegetables as well as leaves and seeds, is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It shows promise as a super cognitive supplement that can make users smarter and sharper.
In foods, you’ll find abundant amounts of quercetin in:
Quercetin has neuroprotective qualities. It may act to protect the brain from oxidative stress. That means it could lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.
Found naturally in peanuts and red grapes, resveratrol increases blood flow to the brain and improves results in certain cognitive tests. In a study published in the March 1, 2021 issue of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that postmenopausal women enrolled in a 24-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study experienced a 33 percent improvement in overall cognition performance. Those women over age 65 showed a “relative improvement in verbal memory with resveratrol” versus those women under 65. The study concludes that “regular supplementation with low-dose resveratrol can enhance cognition, cerebrovascular function, and insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women.”
9. Vitamins A and C
While there is nothing exotic about vitamins A and C, these antioxidants are super cognitive supplements that boost brain health and can make you smarter and sharper. In a large, randomized placebo-controlled study of vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, on cognition, Physician Health Study researchers found that short-term use did not impact cognitive performance. However, long-term use, in this case up to 18 years, may provide cognitive benefits as evidenced by cognitive testing scores.
The Women’s Antioxidant and Cardiovascular Study, consisting of participants aged 65 and up, found that supplementation of 500 mg. daily of vitamin C was associated with better cognitive performance on a five-year follow-up. The WACS found that women diagnosed with cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study did not experience improved performance at follow-up, but those whose cardiovascular risk factors were found during the study did benefit cognitively. Of course, both antioxidants have other benefits beyond those relating to cognition. Vitamin A is toxic in large doses so consumers must make sure they are not taking more than 10,000 mcg. daily.
Look Toward the Future
It’s likely you want to improve your focus and memory based on your current circumstances. However, it’s also critical to look toward the future. No one wants to end up with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. That’s literally a fate worse than death. While there’s no guarantee that cognitive supplements can prevent this outcome, there is research showing some supplements may stave off these brain diseases. What are you waiting for? Take the opportunity to try super cognitive supplements to make you smarter and sharper today –and keep yourself that way for the long term!
Further Reading for Additional Reference:
Cleveland Clinic: Do Brain Supplements Actually Work? – Cleveland Clinic
Northwestern Medicine: 10 Vitamins and Minerals That Boost Brain and Heart Health (Infographic) | Northwestern Medicine
Prevention: The Best Vitamins for Brain Health – Do Brain Supplements Work? (prevention.com)
Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.