September 22, 2015

Most adults are aware of the possibility there can be a decline in cognitive function as a process of normal aging.  Please  note—can be, not will be!  This decline is one of the most apparent signs of aging.  We are familiar with the two degenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Dementia) and while not everyone will suffer from these debilitating problems, many seniors will be affected to some degree by memory loss as they age.  It’s a rite of passage.

Fortunately, the decline in cognitive function is being studied by the medical community and openly discussed more than ever before.  This is to everyone’s benefit and lessens embarrassment when the condition occurs.   Reality is, no matter how active and stimulated we keep our brain, memory loss, alertness and loss of concentration levels will decline at some point.

While it is certainly important to do whatever possible in terms of keeping the brain actively engaged, the use of pharmaceuticals and natural supplements has also become more popular.  There are an increasing number of products, called NOOTROPICS, available on the consumer market today.  It is up to the individual of course in deciding which product to take; pharmaceutical or alternative.  Many people will opt for the more natural approach.  These supplements, sold in health stores and online, can be just as effective as doctor-prescribed treatments and don’t carry the same risks of harmful side effects or problems with drug interaction.  In fact, some of the ingredients now used in many natural cognitive function supplements are often used to treat more severe degenerative diseases and have undergone rigorous clinical testing and consumer trials.

First, let’s define the word Nootropics:

Also called “smart drugs”, memory enhancers, neuro-enhancers, cognitive enhancers and intelligence enhancers.  Nootropic drugs are supplements claiming to improve one or more aspects of mental function.  Any type of compound or food that has the ability to improve your mental abilities, including your ability to focus, your motivation, and your mood.

A famous Romanian doctor named Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea created the word ‘nootropics’ in the year 1972. He made this unique word by combining two different Latin words: nous and trepein. While ‘nous’ means mind, ‘trepein’ means to bend. These two words fit the concept of nootropics perfectly, as nootropics have the ability to bend the mind and thus increase its pivotal functions, such as the ability to both recollect and focus.

Now, some researchers separate “smart drugs” from nootropics because nootropics are derived from natural compounds.  That distinction is important as we will see later on.

OK, what are the key, active ingredients that should be present in an effective cognitive supplement?  Let’s take a look.

  • PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE– This is a component of the membrane naturally produced in the body.  This membrane declines with age.  It is important for maintaining cellular function, improving thinking, skill and memory.  It has proven effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, with patients showing improvement in six to twelve weeks of use.
  • CHOLINE BITRATE—This chemical is often used in conjunction with other cognitive function ingredients in order to boost cognitive ability.  It is a natural nutrient that is also the precursor to Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that controls memory function.
  • BIOTIN—A member of the Vitamin “B” family, it can be found in foods such as nuts and certain vegetables.  Biotin helps support nerves, metabolism, and cells and is sometimes used to treat mild depression.
  • FOLIC ACID—While most often associated with the health of a fetus, Folic Acid can also be used to fight cognitive decline, macular degeneration and a number of other signs of aging. It is often found in fortified foods including breakfast cereals.
  • DHA—Officially known as Docosahexaenoic Acid, DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid that is vital to brain health in people of all ages.  A healthy fat that acts as protection for the brain while also encouraging optimal development in young people.  DHA has been thought to be responsible for reducing the incident of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • N-ACETYL CARNITING—This chemical is an amino acid that helps the body create energy and improves circulation.  A healthy flow of blood to the brain can boost the ability to think, solve problems and improve visual memory.  It is also used in the treatment of strokes.
  • GINKO BILOBA—The leaves of the Ginko plant have been used for centuries to help support levels of concentration and elevated mood.  The extract is often used in products aimed at younger people who may require increased memory skills when studying.  It is just as effective for age-related memory loss, particularly when combined with Ginseng.

Consumers of memory enhancement supplements should, in addition to ensuring they contain most or all of these ingredients, make sure the product has either free samples or a good money-back guarantee.  They should also check first with their healthcare provider to make sure there is no other problem responsible for their lack of mental ability.  (This is big!! Do this. )

Quality memory enhancement products should always contain proven ingredients that will help to enhance not only memory but focus and concentration.  The product should help in optimizing overall mental health.   Most importantly, the supplement must work safely and gently to restore cognitive functions.

There are several warnings that must be issued at this point when considering memory-boosting supplements.  These are as follows:

  • Do your research. Ask your doctor’s advice before taking. Specifically explore any possible interactions noortropic drugs may have with medications you are now taking.
  • Don’t take any substance, compound, or blend of substances unless the list of chemicals and the amounts are given.
  • Don’t chase suspicious chemicals in research status without the history of use and a safety profile.
  • Make rational and cautious choices and understand the side effects.
  • If the compound is NOT nootropic, it will have side effects.
  • Nootropics do NOT get you high, altered or weird.

I am recommending you log in to the web site “Daily Health Answers” and read the following article by Ms. Lisa Holt: Improving* Memory Function and Focus with Supplements.  This article rates the commercial products available now and will indicate customer reviews relative to effectiveness.  Again—consult your doctor prior to taking any drug—PERIOD.

I certainly hope you enjoy this one.

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