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Don’t buy into brain health supplements - Harvard Health

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/dont-buy-into-brain-health-supplements

health.harvard.edu

Don’t buy into brain health supplements - Harvard Health
About 25% of adults over age 50 take a supplement to improve their brain health. While these products promise benefits like enhanced memory and greater attention…

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Over-The-Counter Pills

Over-The-Counter Pills

About 25 percent of adults above 50 years of age try to improve their brain health and memory by taking supplements.

These pills claim to enhance memory, attention and focus, protecting against Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but offer no proof of effectiveness or safety.

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Powdered Nutrients: The Facts

  • Most pills are a combination of vitamins and minerals, along with omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Scientific studies show the natural forms (like fish in case of omega-3 fatty acids) contain the real benefits, and popping supplements do not have the same effect.
  • Vitamin E supplements can help to a limited extent but high doses can increase the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke.
  • Vitamin B supplements are only to be used if one’s normal diet is not enough for them, or in case of a deficiency.
  • Taking time to do some exercise and having a plant-based diet is a better long term health solution.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Supplements don't replace a healthy diet

Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet.

And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.

Big business, little evidence

More than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States. 

But even though supplements are popular, there is limited evidence that they offer any significant health benefits - the health benefits are negligible or nonexistent for the average, healthy person.

Dietary supplements

This is an umbrella term that includes everything from vitamins and minerals to botanicals and biosimilar products. 

For the most part, though, people use "supplement" to refer to an individual vitamin or mineral preparation or a multivitamin. 

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Research Findings On Supplements

  • Pharmaceuticals undergo extensive testing to prove they're effective and safe before they can be sold, but dietary supplements can be sold without proof of claims, effectiveness or safety.

Supplements And Doctor Prescriptions

Because of the potential risks and unclear benefits of supplements, most doctors advise against them. However, doctors often recommend specific vitamin and mineral supplements to their patients, such as calcium and vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis and iron for people with iron deficiency.

When Buying Supplements

  • Consider only single-ingredient supplements. Multi-ingredient supplements make it hard to identify which substance is having an effect and they are more likely to be adulterated with banned drugs.
  • Tell your doctor about any supplement you take, so they can check it will interact with any of the medicines you're on.

Deterioration Of Memory

Deterioration Of Memory

We cannot be expected to hold on to all the information we have accumulated in our lives, at all times.

As we age, memory slips usually become common and can be embarrassing as well as stre...

Factors That Lead To Forgetfulness

Insomnia, anxiety, depression and various mental health issues can lead to memory loss, as well as a decline in other cognitive skills like attention, language, and executive function.

The many memory-related problems are absent-mindedness, blocking of a certain piece of information, fading memories, and incorrect recall.

How To Manage Your Memory

... by a set of criteria and habits known as DANCERS:

D: Disease Management by maintaining your weight along with blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
A: Activities like walking, swimming or exercising at the gym.
N: Nutrition of the body, with focus on whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
C: Cognitive engagement and challenges to your brain.
E: Engagement, social interaction and avoiding isolation.
R: Relaxing your mind, by yoga and mediation
S: Sleeping properly, adequately and in a fixed schedule, while avoiding electronic devices in those hours.