Are you looking to help give your brain health a boost? Vitamins are vital to how our bodies function. But with so many vitamins out there, it can be hard to know which ones will be best for boosting your brainpower. Don’t worry! Read on for 7 of the best vitamins for brain health to help get you on your way!
1. Vitamin B-12
Scientists have been researching the effects of low B-12 levels and memory loss for a while. According to studies by the Mayo Clinic, having correct levels of B-12 improves memory. But, there is no evidence having higher levels than you need has a positive effect.
Research suggests that taking B-12 with omega-3 fatty acids can slow the decline in Alzheimer’s patients. B-12 deficiency is common in vegetarians and people with bowel and stomach issues. Also, metformin for diabetes can lower it too.
You should be able to get the right level of B-12 through your food. It’s found in meats like fish and poultry. You can also get it from fortified cereals as a vegetarian option. But, if you do have low B-12 levels, you can get supplements to boost your intake.
2. Vitamin E
Evidence suggests that vitamin E helps improve memory, particularly in the elderly.
The Journal of the American Medical Association found that vitamin E, when administered in high amounts was able to improve brain function in mild Alzheimer’s patients. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects cells from damage from oxidative stress, which is common in the brain.
Vitamin E is in a lot of common foods, including nuts, seeds, spinach, and dark fruits. Although having low levels of vitamin E is uncommon, it can happen to people with diets low in fat.
Choline has a vital function for your brain health as it necessary for the production of neurotransmitters.
The signaling functions of cell membranes and Acetylcholine neurotransmitters need choline. So if your diet is deficient, you may see negative cognitive effects.
Choline has long term positive effects and is particularly important during pregnancy. Studies published in Psychology Today showed that Choline intake is important for long term development. The children of mothers who had high intake during pregnancy were found to suffer reduced memory decline in old age compared to their peers.
4. Fish Oil
Research on Fish oil’s impact on the rain has been a hot topic for scientists for many years. This means we have a clear understanding of how it helps our brain health.
Fish oils are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical to normal brain development and function. They are found in brain cells, where they preserve cell membranes and help communication between cells.
Omega-3 is only found in oily fish. So, unless your diet contains a lot of oily fish, you could benefit from fish oil supplements. Not all fish oil supplements are the same, so pay close attention to the doses and sources. Make sure that any supplements for brain health contain Omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D may protect against dementia. A study in Neurology suggested that low levels of vitamin D increased the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Our bodies are vitamin D producing machines. We synthesize vitamin D naturally from exposure to the sun. But, poor weather and working indoors often mean that we don’t produce enough vitamin D. Age and obesity also reduce our ability to create vitamin D.
With more than half of the world population deficient in vitamin D, supplements are a sensible precaution to take, particularly in the winter.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A has long been considered important to brain function, but until recently this was more conjecture than fact. A recent study by the University of Bordeaux Nutrition & Neurosciences laboratory studied vitamin A in rats and discovered how important it is to the brain.
Rats deprived of vitamin A produced 32% fewer brain cells compared to normal rats. This translated into worse spatial memory.
When placed in a water tank and required to find a hidden platform, these rats fared much worse than the control group. It took the rats several days before they were able to improve at completing the maze. This contrasts with the control group, which made improvements within a single day. Even once they began to improve in the maze, they never improved to the point of the control group.
But, after adding vitamin A back into their diets, the deprived rats improved. Once the rats recovered, neuron production returned to normal, matching that of the control rats.
Vitamin A in a normal diet comes from meats, particularly offal, like liver. It is also found in cheeses. Vegans and vegetarians are most likely to suffer from vitamin A deficiency and should take supplements as a precaution.
7. Vitamin C
We all know that vitamin C is important for our health. When we are feeling run down, most of us turn to vitamin C to help us perk up. But research shows vitamin C is important for your spatial memory and mental elasticity.
Research carried out at Vanderbilt University’s Department of Medicine found that a single dose of vitamin C can have a big impact on spatial memory. Middle-aged mice were able to navigate a maze 15% faster after a single dose.
Scientists believe this the result of vitamin C’s role in neuron production and growth.
Finding the Best Vitamins for Brain Health
As you can see, there are lots of vitamins for brain health. You don’t want to be deficient in any of them, so make sure your diet covers them all. Supplements can fill any holes in your diet, or top-up any that are particularly important.
Whatever you are looking for, you can find something for all your vitamin needs at Sunshine Discount Vitamins. We offer many different combinations of vitamins and minerals, as well as a huge range of supplements with individual ingredients.