One of the scarier parts of getting older is the brain fog and memory loss that so many seniors seem to experience. As you age, your brain, and the blood vessels supplying it also get older. Plaque buildups, artherosclerosis and the nutritional deficiencies created by modern diets can escalate the effect of years of damage, causing senility, dementias and syndromes such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
It's not something to look forward to in old age. But what most people don't realize is that these changes are not inevitable. Besides the usual advice of having an active social life, and keeping your mind active by solving puzzles, there are a number of supplements that you can take to protect your brain from the effects of daily stressors and keep it healthy and active.
Here are some herbs and vitamins that can improve nervous system functioning and preserve mental clarity well into your senior years.
* Bacopa (Bacopa monniera)
A therapeutically useful herb, Bacopa has been used by Ayurvedic practioners for the treatment of cognitive impairment. It has also been studied for possible anti-Alzheimer's properties and shown to reduce beta-amyloid deposits responsible for the disease.
* Ginkgo Biloba
One of the oldest and most popular herbs for improving memory, Ginkgo is also one of the most studied herbs and has been shown to help the brain in a number of ways. It increases blood flow to the brain, boosting its ability to function optimally and was also shown to be as effective as some prescription medications in improving focus, memory and mental function in Alzheimer's patients. Its antioxidant properties protect the brain from damage by free radicals which may be a major contributing factor in age-related cognitive decline.
* Gotu Kola
Though it is not as well known in the US for brain power, Gotu Kola has traditionally been used to increase mental clarity and improve focus in China and other parts of Asia for thousands of years. Studies have shown that it may boost memory and IQ and reduce blood pressure by improving circulation.
* Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 plays an essential role in brain function because it controls the synthesis and production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA. It is responsible for controlling sleep patterns, moods, appetite and pain sensitivity and has been found to alleviate depression, anxiety and stress disorders. Deficiencies can cause insomnia and central nervous system malfunctioning. Supplementation can improve memory loss and other ailments.
This neuroprotective compound is known as a "short-term memory enhancer" and is vital for production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, required for mental function. It may help protect neurons from oxidative damage and prevent age-related decline in memory and mental function. In studies, it has been shown to slow the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
* Vitamin E
It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect brain cells and the myelin sheath against the damage caused by free radicals. Food sources include wheat germ, nuts like walnuts, seeds, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains. It has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
* Huperzine A
Huperzine A is an alkaloid that acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Derived from Huperzia Serrata, a herb used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, it has antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. It has proven to be effective in improving cognitive and memory abilities in those with Alzheimer's disease.
Although there are prescription drugs used in diseases that cause memory loss, dementia and other nervous system disorders, many people prefer to use natural alternatives that have fewer side effects and are not addictive. A natural supplement with herbs and vitamins to improve memory can help protect your brain cells from degeneration and preserve mental clarity through your senior years.
Age-related memory loss and mental decline are not inevitable. Vitamins to improve memory can protect your brain from the effects of aging and keep your mental processes functioning optimally. Visit www.goodelements.com for high-quality supplements.