What Vitamins Help with Memory: 7 Vitamins Make a Difference
What vitamin helps with memory ?
For someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or memory loss in general, there are some vitamins which are believed to help or prevent memory loss. Research continues to study the effectiveness of these vitamins on memory but strong evidence suggests an impact.
Why Vitamin E?
One of several antioxidants, Vitamin E is sometimes prescribed to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The results of several studies are promising, but inconclusive. Some evidence suggests antioxidants have the ability to reduce the chemical wear and tear which occurs in brain cells and other tissues in the body.
The first use of Vitamin E for Alzheimer’s resulted from a study in the late 1990’s. The study indicated patients who took high doses of Vitamin E experienced a slower loss of the ability to perform daily activities. In 2005, another study indicated there was no cognitive improvement seen in patients who took Vitamin E.
In a 2014 study, patients taking a high dose of Vitamin E experienced a 19% slower rate of decline in their ability to carry out daily activities. This was in comparison to participants who took placebos. While these results are encouraging, there was no evidence indicating any significant memory improvement. It is important to note that high doses of Vitamin E are not recommended as patients then run the risk of coronary artery disease.
Sources of Vitamin E
While you can get Vitamin E through supplements, there are several food sources that provide a natural dose:
· Dry, roasted sunflower seeds
· Cooked spinach
· Safflower oil
· Cooked beet greens
· Raw red peppers
· Cooked asparagus
· Cooked collard greens
· Peanut butter
It is recommended that no more than 1,000 IU of Vitamin E is taken in supplement form. When eating the foods listed above, roughly 15 milligrams should be consumed. Most of those foods, by themselves, don’t contain 15 mg, but that quantity can be reached through a combination.
Vitamins E and C Together
The Power of the Combination
It is believed that when Vitamin E and Vitamin C are combined, the progression of memory loss and the onset of Alzheimer’s is slowed. When taken together, E and C improve cardiovascular health, which feeds more oxygen to the brain. The improvement occurs due to their ability to reduce harmful buildup occurring on artery walls. The benefit of taking them together appears to be greater than taking either by itself.
Food Sources of Vitamin C
There are several food sources of Vitamin C:
· Bell peppers
· Brussels sprouts
Many of the above will provide at least 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). The last four provide between 75% and 93% of the RDA. If taking Vitamin C in supplement form, 500-1,000 IU is optimal.
Benefits of Vitamin C
By itself, Vitamin C is an antioxidant, protecting the brain from damage caused by free radicals, which cause brain cell degeneration leading to Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke. Vitamin C is widely known as minimizing the symptoms suffered during a cold or seasonal allergies, but it is also believed to improve memory, IQ and mental functions. Vitamin C also acts as a natural treatment for depression due to its ability to increase the production of an important neurotransmitter, serotonin.
How Vitamin D Helps
Vitamin D can also be viewed as a vitamin which helps with memory. From birth through adulthood, Vitamin D has a significant impact on the brain. It is one of the few vitamins, however, which does not often come from a food source, but rather from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D has been shown to improve problem solving ability and memory. It is also believed to slow the decline of cognitive abilities and help ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sources of Vitamin D
There are few food sources of Vitamin D, but for those who live in northern climates, the sun may not be an adequate source either. When the level or amount of sunshine is not adequate for Vitamin D production, supplements are recommended. Additionally, Vitamin D can be found in these foods:
· Cod liver oil
· Fortified milk
About 600 IU of Vitamin D is recommended for most adults, with 800 IU being recommended for those 71 years old and over.
B-Complex Vitamins Help with Memory
How the Complex Works
In a major Oxford study, Vitamins B 6, B 12 and folic acid were all found to reduce atrophy of the brain when they are taken together. The study indicated that these three, when combined, reduced the level of shrinkage which occurs in the area of the brain which is most significantly affected by Alzheimer’s. The combination was also found to improve overall brain function. These vitamins work so effectively because they produce essential neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which helps with focus.
When someone describes themselves as feeling as if they are in a fog, they are likely experiencing a B-12 deficiency, but they’re not alone as nearly 40% of Americans don’t get enough B-12. A deficiency of B-12 has been associated with dementia and other brain disorders. Getting adequate B-12 is more of a challenge for seniors and vegetarians. Seniors tend to be less able to absorb B-12 and vegetarians do not get adequate B-12 because B-12 is found in animal sources.
Sources of B Vitamins
Sources of B-12 include:
B-Complex vitamins can be found in these foods:
· Green, leafy vegetables
How Vitamin K works
In a recent study, Vitamin K was found to improve verbal episodic memory, which, simply stated, means when someone lays their keys down they will be better able to find them later. The study found no other benefits relating to the brain, but this result is important as it does show positive results for memory trace. Vitamin K benefits the body in many other ways, including improved bone health, immunity and vascular system. Vitamin K is most often found in dark leafy vegetables and greens. Unfortunately, Vitamin K requires a high fat diet for it to be properly absorbed in the body, so as many as 99% of Americans do not get enough.
A Balanced Diet is Key
In order to get enough in what vitamin helps with memory, a balanced diet which includes the foods listed here is recommended. When this isn’t enough or where the foods may not be available, supplements, not to exceed the RDA are recommended.