The Best Brain Health Supplements

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Mood & Memory
Last Reviewed 03/06/2014

The Best Brain Health Supplements

Have you ever been in a pleasant social situation only to find yourself embarrassed because you can’t recall someone’s name? Ever forget where you placed your keys or glasses? Maybe you’ve even lapsed into a moment of brain fog, unable to focus or concentrate despite your best efforts.

We could all use a brain boost now and then. And the cornerstone of any brain-health supplement program is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). That’s because your brain requires a phenomenal amount of energy for proper functioning, and CoQ10 fuels your cells’ mitochondria so they can provide brain power. I recommend 100–200 mg per day of this brain-health supplement. A good daily multinutrient that provides B vitamin support is absolutely essential, too.

There are also, however, a few other agents that can help to build all-important cell membranes and neurotransmitters in your brain and promote optimal activity in nerve cells for sharper brain function.

Brain-Health Supplements

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC)

This version of the amino acid carnitine goes straight to the brain, where it helps improve memory, mood, cognition and learning. Like L-carnitine, ALC is an antioxidant, membrane stabilizer and enhancer of mitochondrial energy. Recommended dosage: 125–250 mg per day.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)

Known as the “universal antioxidant,” ALA enters all parts of cells to neutralize free radicals. Remember, the brain is highly susceptible to attack by free radicals because it’s so highly oxygenated and is made up of a high proportion of unsaturated fats, so the more antioxidants you can muster to fight them, the better. Recommended dosage: 100–200 mg per day.

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a well-researched phospholipid (a semi-essential nutrient contained in cell membranes) that indirectly helps regulate cortisol levels. Once cortisol levels start to even out, you experience a greater sense of well-being. In one study, subjects treated with phosphatidylserine demonstrated increased memory and cognitive function after 12 weeks of supplementation. This brain-health supplement’s improvements included the ability to concentrate while reading, telephone number recall and misplaced objects recall. Recommended dosage: 100–200 mg per day.

Phosphatidylcholine

The other major phospholipid in the brain, phosphatidylcholine assists in the transfer of information via nerve impulses and neurotransmitters. Recommended dosage: 75–150 mg per day.

And for additional help thinking clearly every day, learn my seven do's and don’ts for a healthy brain.

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