Memory and mental sharpness tend to go down with age, becoming more noticeable after the age of 50 but even more so by the age of 60 or 65. Many patients realize this and want to take whatever will work to minimize this memory or cognitive loss and even improve it.
Of course, the health of the whole body, including thyroid status and any deficiencies of male or female hormones can effect memory as can other nutritional deficiencies including deficiencies of the B vitamins. It is thorough to test these things. Most people do benefit from taking a memory-enhancing pill. There are several types and some are safer than others in terms of causing agitation.
Memory in the brain is related to the neurotransmitters, especially acetylcholine, which is different from serotonin or adrenalin. Acetylcholine is made from choline, which is found in eggs, for example. Various forms of choline are available in supplemental form, which do work to encourage the brain to work better. Actual choline can be used. Many patients prefer to swallow lecithin or a lecithin concentrate, which contains the choline bound to lecithin as phosphatidylcholine (PC) along with other similar compounds found in lecithin.
Prepared lecithin is effective in dramatically improving brain function. It is made from soy or sunflower seeds. It does not make people feel wound up or agitated. Several companies make concentrated versions of lecithin.
Some patients prefer herbal pills or teas such as gingko biloba, which have been around for thousands of years. Some herbal products contain vinpocetine, which does improve brain circulation and results in noticeable memory improvement. Newer products have come to the market recently containing a neuropeptide and some amino acids, which are effective; in some people these can be too stimulating or create an edginess or irritability either due to the amino acids or other ingredients.
Beyond the naturally available products for memory there are also smart drugs or nootropics by prescription, which we will discuss in an upcoming blog post.
Please contact us with any questions about specific products including lecithin, as well as testing for amino acids and neurotransmitters.