What The Leaves Say About Ginkgo Biloba
The fan-shaped leaves of the ginkgo tree are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat all kinds of ailments. In the United States, the extract from the leaves is sold as a supplement commonly called ginkgo biloba. One of its main selling points is as a memory enhancer. However, as with other brain health supplements, the science doesn’t support the claims.
One of the largest clinical trials that explored the possible link was the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study. Researchers recruited more than 3,000 older adults, average age 79, 54% of whom were men, with normal cognitive function or mild cognitive impairment. Everyone was given either 120 milligrams of ginkgo or a placebo twice a day for almost six years. The results found that ginkgo biloba did not lower the overall rate of developing dementia.
“Most supplements are not tested rigorously in clinical trials,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, associate medical director at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “However, ginkgo has been tested thoroughly for its potential to prevent dementia, and there is strong evidence that it does not prevent memory decline or dementia and therefore should not be taken for that purpose.”
Are There Any Fda
There are currently five medications that are FDA-approved to treat memory loss caused by Alzheimers disease:
Its important to note that these medications do not cure Alzheimers disease they can only help prevent the condition from worsening. They also are not approved to help prevent this condition or prevent memory loss in people without Alzheimers disease.
Experts still dont know what causes dementia, so theres no one-size-fits-all answer for preventing it. Certain lifestyle changes adopting a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and challenging yourself with puzzles, hobbies, or new tasks are currently the best recommendations available to help keep your mind sharp and brain healthy.
What Do I Need To Know About Memory Loss
Some memory loss is common with aging. You may have sharp long-term memories from many years ago but have trouble remembering new information. Normal memory loss does not get worse and does not affect daily activities. Memory loss that gets worse over time or affects daily activities can be a sign of a serious medical problem, such as Alzheimer disease. Talk with your healthcare provider if you or someone close to you notices that your memory is worsening.
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Tip : Dont Skip The Physical Exercise
While mental exercise is important for brain health, that doesnt mean you never need to break a sweat. Physical exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Exercise also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones. Perhaps most importantly, exercise plays an important role in neuroplasticity by boosting growth factors and stimulating new neuronal connections.
What Makes Them So Popular Why Do People Buy Into Their Claims
There’s a desire to find something, but those over-the-counter drugs dont really increase memory. We recommend things like regular physical exercise, and that’s too much trouble. People would like to be able to just take a substance.
Plus, companies are marketing these agents very effectively. They are very good at selling things. Mostly, the companies use anecdotal evidence or testimonials from other people, and that has been shown to be very powerful for humans. There’s no real science behind it.
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Do You Know The 9 Herbs And Spices That Fight Memory Loss
May 26, 2020
If youre worried about forgetfulness, you might want to take a look in your kitchen cupboards. Why? Because some of the most common herbs and spices that people use to add flavor to foods may also fight memory loss. According to the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that spices may prevent or even halt neurodegenerative disorders commonly seen in aging, such as Alzheimers disease.
Here are 9 herbs and spices that have solid scientificevidence showing neuroprotective and memory-enhancing properties. Be sure tostock up on these the next time you go to the market and try the brain healthy servingsuggestions below.
Risk Factors For Dementia & Alzheimers
Scientists know that genetics, environment, and lifestyle affect your risk of developing Alzheimers disease and dementia.
- Age: As you get older, youre at greater risk of developing dementia and Alzheimers.
- Genetics: If you have a family member with dementia, you are more likely to have dementia, too. Additionally, having certain versions of genes, like apolipoprotein E 4 , increases your risk of developing Alzheimers.
- Education: People with less education have a higher chance of getting Alzheimers.
- High risk for cardiovascular disease: The same factors that affect your heart health, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, also increase your Alzheimers risk.
- Head trauma: Youre more likely to develop Alzheimers if you suffer a head injury that makes you lose consciousness.
- Alcohol abuse: Patients with alcohol-use disorder are more likely to have impaired cognition and develop Alzheimers disease.
- Sleep issues: Older adults who experience constant interrupted sleep experience Alzheimers disease more frequently.
- Poor diet: Eating the wrong foods can make it more likely that youll develop dementia or Alzheimers.
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Four Key Elements Of A Good Brain
What about brain-training programs?
How To Choose The Best Memory Pills
The best memory pills are those that support your natural brain physiology, health, and functioning. Drugs that work as psychostimulants push your brain to its limits which may do more harm than good.
When choosing your best brain-boosting supplements, concentrate on the ingredients lists, manufacturer reputation, and look for safety certificates and approval from the FDA.
A good way to know that the memory pills of your choice are both safe and effective is to see if the ingredients in them went through peer-reviewed studies and clinical trials. The ingredients in your top rated memory pills should be clearly listed.
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Leafy Greens And Lentils
Folate and vitamins B6 and B12 help lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in blood that has been linked to an increased risk of dementia. High levels usually signify a deficiency of B vitamins. One study showed that people with high homocysteine levels and low folate levels had difficulty remembering words and details from a short story.
What Can I Do To Manage Memory Loss
Some memory loss cannot be treated, but you may be able to stop it from getting worse. Your healthcare provider may need to stop or change certain medicines you are taking, or change the dose. The provider may also recommend vitamins or supplements to help improve your memory. The following are ways to help manage memory loss:
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A Note About Unproven Treatments
Some people are tempted by untried or unproven “cures” that claim to make the brain sharper or prevent dementia. Be cautious of pills, supplements, brain training computer games, or other products that promise to improve memory or prevent brain disorders. These might be unsafe, a waste of money, or both. They might even interfere with other medical treatments. Currently there is no drug or treatment that prevents Alzheimer’s or related dementias.
However, there are currently several drugs available by prescription to safely treat the symptoms of early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s. If you have been diagnosed with dementia, your doctor may suggest that you take one of them.
How to protect yourself and others from unproven treatments:
- Beware if the product claim seems too promising and if it conflicts with what youve heard from your health care provider.
- Question any product that claims to be a scientific breakthrough. Companies marketing these products often take advantage of people when they are most vulnerable and looking for a miracle cure.
- Check with your doctor or health care professional before buying any product, including those labeled as dietary supplements, that promises to improve your memory or prevent dementia.
- Report any products or supplements being advertised as a treatment for Alzheimer’s or other diseases on the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations website.
Are Vitamin B6 And B12 Supplements Helpful
Common B vitamins, which were identified early on as possibly having something to do with memory, are popular. Its understandable why people think B12 has something to do with memory because we advise doctors to check a B12 level on anyone with dementia. It turns out studies have failed to show that there’s ever been a case of someone with dementia caused by low B12. We advise doctors to check it because people who have dementia frequently don’t eat right, and frequently become deficient in B12, which has all kinds of other problems like anemia and spinal cord problems. That can be easily fixed.
We tell doctors to look for it not because the B12 causes memory problems, but because it’s something common in people who have memory problems. Studies have failed to show that supplementing B vitamins actually does any good. It doesn’t help memory in the short run and it doesn’t decrease the risk of dementia in the long run.
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More Crystals For Memory
There are a number of other stones that will assist your memory including Emerald, Sphene, Vivianite, Prophecy Stone, Barite aka Baryte and Pyrite.
See more about the individual stone properties in the section below the images, or check out their specific page.
- Emerald: The vibration of these crystals helps you to think more clearly and they may also enhance your memory, aiding you to recall information when needed.
- Sphene: This is a useful stone to help you to dredge information from the back of your mind. It is particularly helpful to boost your memory when you need to recall extraneous information, and to associate previously remembered facts with current information to gain a greater understanding of a subject.
- Prophecy Stone: these stones are helpful to boost your memory and may also help you to think more clearly.
- Thenardite: This stone has a number of unusual attributes, that may be specifically helpful if you often have trouble recalling the particular time when you need to be somewhere such as at appointments.
- Vivianite: This crystal is said to help younger people who are having difficulty remembering things. May be useful during finals to assist memory and focus when you are studying.
- Pyrite: known to enhance your memory.
- All colors of Baryte also spelled Barite: This stone stimulates the higher chakras, which can aid healing of issues in the brain and boost the memory.
When To See A Doctor For Memory Loss
Its time to consult a doctor when memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member. If you get to that point, make an appointment as soon as possible to talk with your primary physician and have a thorough physical examination. Even if youre not displaying all the necessary symptoms to indicate dementia, now may be a good time to take steps to prevent a small problem becoming a larger one.
Your doctor can assess your personal risk factors, evaluate your symptoms, eliminate reversible causes of memory loss, and help you obtain appropriate care. Early diagnosis can treat reversible causes of memory loss, lessen decline in vascular dementia, or improve the quality of life in Alzheimers or other types of dementia.
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A Combination Of Nutrients
Many brain supplements focus on omega-3 fatty acids , vitamin E, various B vitamins, or various combinations. Why these?
There’s strong evidence that certain diets like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the MIND diet can help improve cognitive function, according to Dr. Marshall.
“These diets contain foods with large amounts of these vitamins and minerals,” he says. “But what is not clear is whether it’s the combination of nutrients in these diets that’s beneficial, or whether it’s specific ones or even certain amounts, or some other factors.” Researchers have tried to answer these questions by testing how these individual nutrients affect cognitive health. So far the limited studies have found no evidence they help, with a few rare exceptions.
“Still, this doesn’t mean that the brain supplements may not work,” says Dr. Marshall. “It’s just that there is not much, if any, evidence from randomized clinical trials the gold standard for research on isolated vitamins or minerals and brain health.”
Here’s a summary of what science has found so far and what it means.
What Studies Have Been Done On Memory Pills
The progressive loss of memory in Alzheimers disease has led researchers to find out more about how memory functions by examining this disorder. Scientific research has found that cholinergic mechanisms play a large role in different types of memory.
Furthermore, cholinergic cells are the first to degenerate in an AD which is why drugs that block acetylcholine enzymes such as donezapil were developed to slow down memory problems in the AD.
Natural and herbal acetylcholine-boosting supplements were also studied for their safe effects on working and long-term memory as were vitamin and nutraceutical supplements.
For instance, one study examined how the use of a combination of a nutraceuticals formulation consisting of brain-enhancing nutrients and acetylcholine precursors improved memory in healthy adults. The study found a significant improvement in memory functioning after only two weeks of use in comparison with placebo controls.
Activities For Cognitive Health
Ginkgo Biloba For Memory Loss With Caution
One of the top-selling herbs in the United States, ginkgo biloba has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.
A National Institute on Aging ginkgo trial of more than 200 healthy adults older than 60 showed no improvement in memory or concentration. It is possible that doses higher than the 120 milligrams used daily in this six-week trial could be effective. Look for results of current large, long-term trials, such as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s study with 3,000 volunteers. These will help to confirm whether or not ginkgo biloba can help prevent dementia or enhance memory in healthy people.
Some research suggests that ginkgo biloba is effective for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Ginkgo biloba may be as effective as acetylcholinesterase inhibitor drugs such as donepezil . Studies have also indicated that ginkgo biloba may be helpful for cerebral insufficiency, a decreased flow of blood to the brain from clogged blood vessels.
However, a 2009 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed that compared with placebo, 120 mg twice daily of ginkgo biloba did not result in less cognitive decline in older adults with normal or only mild thinking impairment.
Maximize Memory Function With A Nutrient
What is the best recipe for maximizing memory? Research suggests following an eating plan that provides a healthier selection of dietary fats and an array of plant foods rich in phytonutrients. There still is a lot to learn about what makes a brain-healthy diet. However, for now, the best bet for rich memories is forgoing unhealthy fat and remembering to diversify your plant portfolio.
Foods that boost memory
Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, fish, healthier fats and herbs or seeds provide brain-boosting memory function, and include:
- Berries are antioxidant powerhouses that can protect the brain from oxidative damage, preventing premature aging and memory-impairing dementia. Blueberries are a particularly rich source of anthocyanin and other flavonoids that may improve brain function.
- Grapes are full of resveratrol, a memory-boosting compound. Concord grapes are rich in polyphenols, a brain-accessing antioxidant.
- Watermelon has a high concentration of lycopene, which is another powerful antioxidant. Its also a good source of pure water, which is beneficial to brain health, as even a mild case of dehydration can reduce mental energy, impairing memory.
- Avocado is a fruit rich in monounsaturated fat, which improves memory function by helping improve blood cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation in place of saturated fats.
Whole grains and legumes
Herbs or seeds
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