By Drs. Arielle Levitan and Romy Block
In our previous article, we discussed several vitamins that can help your brain fitness. Vitamins B, C, D and E can all provide benefits, but they are not all. There are other types of supplements that can help as well.
Another consideration when trying to prevent memory loss with vitamins is supplements for memory loss derived from natural plants such as turmeric.
Turmeric , also known as curcumin, is a spice used frequently in Indian cooking and curries. This flavorful yellow powder may have benefits in preventing inflammatory processes including Alzheimer’s disease. It was first noted that the people of India have much lower rates of dementia than their western counterparts. Then several studies were done showing improvement in parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s. There is great promise for this. Likely it is best to use turmeric as much as possible in cooking. If this is difficult, daily supplements can be found (doses of 500mg daily have been recommended, however as with any supplement be sure to use a reputable brand known for quality and purity).
The downside? Too much turmeric can affect the liver so should be used with caution in those with liver issues or taking other medications metabolized by the liver . Turmeric may also cause thinning of the blood and interfere with other medicines that cause bleeding. Do confer with your doctor if you have these issues.
A discussion of vitamins for memory and cognition would not be complete without mention of Omega-3s.
These essential fats are found in fish and many “good fat” foods such as avocados and nuts. They are felt to have anti-inflammatory effects. Some studies suggest a benefit to these “good fats” and some show no association with cognitive decline. It is our belief that Omega3s are generally good for you. They are best found via natural food sources. If you feel the need to take a supplement be cautious to find one that does not have high levels of Mercury.
As you look to improve your memory and overall health consider a vitamin regimen tailored to your needs. We all have different diets, lifestyles and health histories, so our vitamin needs differ accordingly. If memory is of great concern you may consider B vitamins, Vitamins C, D and E and supplemental turmeric and omega3s. A personalized multivitamin may be a fantastic addition to your daily routine.
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three elementary age boys. Arielle Levitan is a doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three active adolescents. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that women, in their many roles, often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each woman is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin™ to provide women everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs.