Bacopa Monnieri

About

Powerful antioxidant properties that help decrease aging effects of free radicals on the brain and body. Shown to protect the brain, increase memory performance and improve new learning and retention. Promotes speed of growth of nerve endings as well as improving brain circulation.

Clinical studies

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in otherwise healthy persons over the age of 55. Bacopa monnieri significantly improved verbal learning, memory acquisition, and delayed recall as measured by the AVLT.  [Source]

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in persons over 65 years of age, with no signs of dementia. Bacopa monnieri daily for 12 weeks showed significant improvements in attention (less likely to pay attention to irrelevant information), working memory, and less anxiety and depression. [Source]

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Phosphatidylserine (PS)

About

Support normal neurotransmitter metabolism and nerve signal transmission, to maximize brain function. Shown to improve memory, cognitive capacity and protect against cognitive decline.

Clinical studies

A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effect of six months of PS supplementation in 494 elderly patients with cognitive impairment. This study found that phosphatidylserine produced significant improvement in behavioral and cognitive function after three and six months. [Source]

In elderly persons without dementia but with memory complaints given phosphatidylserine (complexed with DHA, a fatty acid) for 15 weeks, supplementation was associated with improvements in memory and learning processes as well as time taken to complete tasks. Oddly, persons with higher baseline cognition were more likely to respond to treatment. [Source]

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Rhodiola Rosea

About

Boosts energy. Promotes neuronal communication by increasing the speed of growth of neurons as well as improving brain circulation. Helps prevent the physical and chemical effects of stress while increasing your sense of well-being.

Clinical studies

Rhodiola twice daily for 4 weeks in persons with life and work-related stress was greatly able to reduce dysfunction and fatigue associated with stress in a time-dependent manner. Significant improvements were noted in social and work function secondary to reduced fatigue and improved mood. [Source]

A multicenter, non-randomized, open-label, single-arm trial with twenty days of rhodiola supplementation during examination periods for students was able to improve neuromotoric fitness (accuracy of maze drawing test), fatigue, and well- being relative to placebo. Exam scores were 8.4% higher in the rhodiola group relative to placebo. [Source] 

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Ginkgo Biloba

About

Increases blood flow in the brain, promoting delivery of essential nutrients. Shown to increase short term memory. Powerful antioxidative effects that protect neurons from oxidative cell death. Aids in protecting against the development of β-amyloid proteins which are associated with cognitive disorders of the aging brain.

Clinical studies

A double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial including 400 patients aged 50 years or above with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or vascular dementia showed that supplementation of ginkgo biloba daily for a period of 24 weeks was associated with significant improvements in cognition as assessed by SKT (3.2-point improvement while placebo experienced a 1.3-point decrement). [Source]

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study, over a period of 24 weeks in persons already diagnosed with Alzheimer's and/or dementia noted that supplementation was associated with more instances of memory and cognitive improvement than placebo. [Source]

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L-Theanine

About

A non-dietary amino acid found in green tea, that boosts alpha brainwaves for alert relaxation. Decreases stress, excitotoxicity and glutamate toxicity which can damage brain cells and cognitive health.

Clinical studies

A study where participants experienced conditions of physical or psychological stress showed that l-theanine not only reduced anxiety but also attenuated the blood-pressure increase in high-stress-response adults. [Source]

A double blind study showed that l-theanine was able to promote relaxation as assessed by the tranquil-troubled subscale of the VAMS (self-report survey). [Source]

A double-blind, placebo controlled study. Subjects given a mental arithmetic task after l-theanine or placebo showed that the increase in anxiety, stress, and heart rate that occurred in placebo was attenuated with l-theanine. The increase in salivary IgA concentration was approximately halved. [Source]

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Vitamins B6, B9 and B12

About

Critical neuroprotective agents that help to protect against and slow cognitive decline. Optimize neurotransmitters, help to synthesize serotonin, norepinephrine and GABA. B-vitamins help protect the blood-brain barrier’s microvascular system from damaging homocysteine.

Clinical studies

Homocysteine is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Homocysteine-lowering treatment with B vitamins slows the rate of brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment. B vitamins appear to slow cognitive and clinical decline in people with MCI, in particular in those with elevated homocysteine. [Source]

According to the NIH, B9 (folic acid) deficiency is associated with depression and dementia. In elderly people it may be related to aging, poor diet, malabsorption, drugs, or increased demand or be unexplained. Folic acid has particular effects on mood and cognitive and social function. Impaired folate metabolism may result in a pattern of cognitive dysfunction that resembles aging. Folic acid is important in the nervous system at all ages, but in elderly people deficiency contributes to aging brain processes, increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. [Source]

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