Are brain supplements good for you? Do they work?
Supplements and vitamins are a dime a dozen these days and it can be hard to differentiate what is real from what is not.
This is especially true if you’ve tried to research solutions to help boost your elderly loved one’s brain health.
So which supplements do you trust and which ones are just a fad?
In today’s post, I will go over which brain supplements researchers show to be effective.
Brain supplements are not for everyone
An important note is that while one may enjoy excellent benefits from a supplement person, another person may see none.
This is due to a number of factors.
- Genetic make-up. Research scientists still discovering that your genetic make-up can affect the efficacy of a drug. There is more and more talk of personalized medicine where treatments are tailored to individuals instead of everyone receiving the same drug.
- Underlying health issues. Before you start using any supplements, it’s helpful if you could talk to your primary healthcare provider. Supplements still contain organic chemicals interact with the drugs you already take and so may cause you to react adversely or see no benefits.
- Sometimes, a supplement may only work when the person is deficient in that particular supplement. If you’re not deficient in it, you may see no benefits.
And apart from these, the truth is that certain supplements are hyped by marketing companies; but have no research to back them.
Thus in researching and buying brain supplements, it is important to do your due diligence.
Brain supplements – Results from research
Omega-3 fatty acids, gingko biloba and ashwagandha are a handful of brain supplements that researchers have studied.
You will find omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. According to this study published in Psychopharmacology, older adults with mild cognitive impairment who were given fish oil over a 12-month period showed improved brain function over a similar group of older adults who did not take the supplements.
It’s important to not that while the scientists saw this improvement in people who had mild cognitive impairment, they did not notice any increased benefit with people who did not have brain impairments.
Researchers in this study found the Gingko Biloba benefited people had dementia.
Most people in the study tolerated the drugs well.
Ayuverdic medical practitioners (a type of traditional medical system practiced in India) use ashwagandha a lot.
Researchers show that Ashwagandha has effects on the heart, different glands in your body as well as on the brain.
While all of these supplements show positive effects on brain health, researchers still have a long way to go in studying them.
In fact, few negative side effects have been reported for the three supplements I’ve discussed here. Nonetheless, it is always important to check with your doctor or healthcare provider before you start taking a new supplement.
So are brain supplements safe for you?
It depends on many factors but so far, research supports a handful of them.