Importance of Memory cannot be overemphasized. This is because it plays a crucial role in our life. If you can’t remember the skills that you learned, or retrieve information that is stored in your brain, or recall moments and experiences in the past, you have a very serious reason to be concerned. However, you must be careful that you are not on the receiving end of wrong advice.
While we must appreciate that It’s not always Alzheimer’s that causes memory loss, it will be equally important to be wary of some wild claims that might be all over the net. No doubt, deficiency of some nutrients in our diet might lead to memory loss. And so searching for vitamins that help with memory loss is in order. Mayo Clinic lists two vitamins that must be in our system to avoid a breakdown in our memory capabilities and these are vitamin B-12 and vitamin E.
Scientists have long been researching the relationship between low levels of B-12 (cobalamin) and memory loss. According to a Mayo Clinic expert, having enough B-12 in your diet can improve memory. Promising research does show that B-12 can slow cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer’s when taken together with omega-3 fatty acids. B-12 deficiency is most common in people with bowel or stomach issues, or strict vegetarians. The diabetes drug metformin has also been shown to lower B-12 levels. You should be able to get enough B-12 naturally, as it’s found in foods such as fish and poultry. Fortified breakfast cereal is a good option for vegetarians.
There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin E can benefit the mind and memory in older people. A 2014 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that high amounts of vitamin E can help people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Participants took doses of 2,000 international units (IU) a day. However, this amount is unsafe, according to Dr. Gad Marshall of Harvard Medical School. Taking more than 1,000 IU a day is especially risky for people with cardiovascular disease, especially for those on blood thinners. It also increases the risk of prostate cancer. Regardless of your age or condition, you should be able to get enough
vitamin E from your food. Ask your doctor if you’re interested in additional amounts. Vitamin E deficiency is rare, although it may occur in people on low-fat diets. The vitamin is found in nuts, seeds, dark-colored fruits, such as blueberries, avocados, and blackberries vegetables, such as spinach and bell peppers.
It will be important, however, to emphasize that there are far too many causes of memory loss. The following are the other causes of memory loss.
- A number of prescription and over-the-counter medications can interfere with or cause loss of memory. Possible culprits include: antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and pain medications given after surgery.
- Alcohol, tobacco, or drug use. Excessive alcohol use has long been recognized as a cause of memory loss.
- Smoking harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. Studies have shown that people who smoke find it more difficult to put faces with names than do non-
- Sleep deprivation. Getting too little sleep or waking frequently in the night can lead to fatigue, which interferes with the ability to consolidate and retrieve information.
- Depression and stress. When you are tense and your mind is overstimulated or distracted, your ability to remember can suffer.
- Stress caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.
- Head injury. A severe hit to the head could injure the brain and cause both short- and long-term memory loss.
- A person who has had a stroke may have vivid memories of childhood events but be unable to recall what he or she had for lunch.
Memory Loss Concern
You may need to see the doctor if you notice the following:
- Disruptions in your daily life e.g. finding yourself asking the same questions over and over
- Forgetting common words when speaking
- Mixing words up — saying “hand clock” instead of “watch,” for example
- Taking longer to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Withdrawal from work or social activities, failure to follow a conversation.
- Getting lost while walking or driving in a familiar area
- Losing track of the date or the season
According to Mayo clinic, getting a proper and prompt diagnosis is important, even if it’s challenging. This is because identifying a reversible cause of memory impairment enables you to get appropriate treatment. Also, an early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment,
Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder is beneficial because you can:
- Begin treatments to manage symptoms
- Educate yourself and loved ones about the disease
- Determine future care preferences
- Identify care facilities or at-home care options
- Settle financial or legal matters
Finally, we need to conclude with this question do memory supplements work? Numerous studies have been undertaken to ascertain the efficacy or safety of supplements in as far as memory boosting is concerned. One notable article is from consumer reports (www.consumerreports) which referred to a 2015 review of studies that found that
supplementation with B6, B12, and/or folic acid failed to slow or reduce the risk of cognitive decline in healthy older adults and did not improve brain function in those with cognitive decline or dementia. They also recommend avoiding branded “memory boosting” blends.
However, it should be stated that certain nutrients that will be helpful with proper functioning of the body may consequently help with a good memory. For this reason, we should ensure that we don’t have any deficiency of any vitamin in our bodies. Additionally, we should ensure
lifestyles and habits that will be good for our overall wellbeing!