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Do you pop vitamins for memory improvement?
For many people around the world, dumping hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year on the hope that pills in a pretty package will lead to a boost in memory is a common habit.
Sadly, many seniors believe that it is essential to take nutritional supplements to combat against age related memory loss, brain fog, everyday forgetfulness or to deter the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
But falling for that ruse isn’t just for the older generations.
Even for the young and healthy amongst us, it is not uncommon to take vitamin pills in an attempt to improve retention or recall of information, learn a new language or excel in studies.
The question is…
How vital are memory enhancing pills?
Before we look at the answer, take a quick peek at the truth about the best supplement for memory and concentration:
It has long been argued that regularly eating foods rich in vitamins and daily exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy body and mind.
Can vitamin supplement pills that help with memory be an easier option to provide the same nutrients to your body and mind?
Let’s find out.
What The Heck Are ‘Vitamins’ Anyway? An Astonishing History
Vitamins are a group of organic compounds – different from fats, carbohydrates and proteins – that nourish our body and are essential for our growth and functioning. We usually get them through the food we eat.
More importantly, research shows that vitamins are important to maintain brain health.
Check this out:
“In particular, research over the past 5 years has provided exciting evidence for the influence of dietary factors on specific molecular systems and mechanisms that maintain mental function.”
That’s from Dr. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a leading authority on nutrition and the brain at the University of California, Los Angeles in his research paper, Brain Foods: The Effects of Nutrients on Brain Function.
Here’s Something Even More Important:
While we need vitamins only in small quantities, if any vitamin is absent from our diet, a deficiency disease may occur – a fact first noted by William Fletcher in 1905.
In 1912, the Polish-born biochemist Casimir Funk discovered a mysterious compound that he termed ‘vital amine,’ which later came to be known as ‘vitamin’.
A year later, in 1913 that a biochemist named Frederick Gowland Hopkins discovered Vitamin A – the first vitamin to be discovered.
By early 20th century researchers had identified the 13 compounds or vitamins crucial to maintaining a healthy life.
They had also found that the underlying trigger for obscure illnesses such as scurvy, beriberi and pellagra was vitamin deficiency.
That’s not all…
It was around the same time that deficiency in certain vitamins was linked to loss of memory, focus and concentration.
Today, dietary supplements like B vitamins (folic acid, B6, and B12), antioxidants (vitamins C and E), herbal supplements (ginkgo biloba), and nutraceuticals (fish oil, coconut oil) are very much in-demand as pills that help with memory.
The Most Important Fact About Vitamins
For Memory In The World
Deficiency in Vitamin B12 can cause memory loss. This means that Vitamin B12 probably presents the most critical case in which supplements can help improve your brain’s ability to remember things.
But here’s the kicker:
If you are already getting adequate B vitamins though your diet, getting extra through supplemental pills will not give you a memory boost.
There are other foods that improve memory well worth checking out for that Magnetic outcome.
Exposed: The Billion Dollar Business of Vitamins
In the century since their discovery, vitamins or rather vitamin supplements have become big business.
In the United States alone, annual sales of all multivitamin and mineral containing supplements totalled $14.3 billion in 2014.
Since the 1940s, Americans have been taking multivitamin and mineral supplements.
But get this:
To date, there has been no concrete study to substantiate that popping vitamin supplements has improved people’s health or their memory more than what can be achieved by a healthy diet and exercise.
For more on how this ruse is taking place, you might want to check out The Darkside and the Brightside of How Marketers Manipulate Your Memory Every Single Day.
Interestingly, although more than one-third of all Americans take these supplements, they have no standard scientific, regulatory, or marketplace definitions.
Why does this matter?
Manufacturers decide the types and levels of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients in their supplements based on factors that are not always guided by science or in your best interest.
The Demons In Your Daily Diet
Now let’s get down to the core of the problem:
Processed or refined food is routinely fortified with added vitamins to increase its price as well as appeal among consumers.
So when you are taking supplements, on top of vitamins added to your foods, you really don’t know whether you are ingesting more than your daily requirement.
This is a potentially deadly fact that matters above all:
Consuming more vitamins than your daily dietary requirements can be as detrimental to your health as being vitamin deficient.
Research by McGill University geneticist Rima Rozen and her colleagues reveal that taking 10 times the recommended daily intake of folic acid – often the dose recommended by doctors for pregnant women – causes liver damage in mice.
Research has also found that Vitamin E at doses of 400 international units (IU) or more per day is risky for people with heart disease. Such dosage may also raise the risk of prostate cancer.
Moreover, other studies show that Vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, and fish oil supplements can slightly inhibit blood clotting. When combined with an anticoagulant drug, such supplements can actually make you bleed or bruise more easily.
Messing Around With Memory Vitamins Is No Joking Matter
So you see…
Taking vitamins in the form of pills is not to be taken lightly.
You can’t just grab any bottle off the shelf and expect to get the outcome you seek – certainly not increased mental focus. That requires memory and concentration training.
And keep this in mind:
Any vitamin supplement has to be taken in context of your diet and how your body absorbs nutrients. This is one of those occasions where it’s okay for things to really be all about you.
Let’s face it:
Our bodies are constantly undergoing change due to social, psychological, physical and medical factors which in turn affect our intake, digestion, absorption and excretion of nutrients.
Consuming highly processed food or not cooking your vegetables properly can also cause inadequate vitamin intake.
These factors need to be taken into consideration when selecting your memory pills.
In any case, you should always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to rule out overdosing on any particular vitamin.
Rooting Out Flaws In The Plan
While many vitamin supplements, fish oil and herbs like ginkgo biloba are touted to improve memory, there is hardly any evidence to back up the claims.
A 2013 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found no evidence that drugs, herbal products or vitamin supplements (including vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids – products thought to help brain function) helps prevent memory loss in healthy people.
In fact, the study revealed that certain treatments actually seemed to contribute to cognitive problems.
That’s completely the opposite of the goal!
Healthy women who were given estrogen hormone treatment to improve memory actually suffered from higher memory loss over time, compared to subjects who were given a placebo.
The Ugly Ginkgo Lie About Alzheimer’s and Dementia
A study showed that ginkgo herb did not decrease the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, ginkgo is one of the top 10 natural products used by Americans as the best supplement for memory and concentration.
The issue is even bigger than that:
Since dietary supplements are not regulated the same way as prescription or over-the-counter drugs, manufacturers don’t have to pass the rigorous Food and Drug Administration process to ensure they are safe and effective before selling their products.
So, manufacturers can claim that the supplements “support” or “help” memory without needing any strong medical evidence supporting those claims.
Dietary supplements – that include vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, and other ‘natural’ substances – also pose a big risk for consumers.
Not only that, but get this:
Between 2008 and 2011, the FDA received 6,307 reports of health problems from dietary supplements, says a 2013 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
That’s a lot of problems!
And the fact that people are trying to learn from their smartphones about health only makes matters worse.
The Truth About How To Improve Brain Function and Memory
When it comes to brain vitamins for studying or memory enhancing drugs, nothing works better than a balanced diet, lots of hydration, an active lifestyle and 7 hours of sleep every night.
Easy isn’t it?
Well, hang on there, because it gets even better…
Foods like walnuts, green tea, blueberries, salmon are all super foods when it comes to protecting you from brain fog and memory loss.
The best part?
An easy-to-follow Mediterranean-style diet can have lasting benefits for brain health, confirmed a 2017 study. It showed that participants who closely followed a Mediterranean-like diet were less likely to lose brain volume as they aged, compared with those who didn’t follow such a diet.
Another study published in the journal Neurology suggests that a Mediterranean diet – rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes, nuts, olive oil and fish – may help make your brain about five years younger.
Processed foods, fried and fast foods, snack foods, red meat, poultry and whole-fat dairy foods are usually eaten less under this diet plan.
Drinking water also helps to improve memory and focused attention. A new study revealed that if you are even slightly dehydrated, it can impair your attention and memory.
D.O.C. & Vitamin M:
The Best Scientifically Proven Vitamins For Your Memory
Apart from good food, if you want a real memory booster you’ll need to exercise your brain.
Your brain is a muscle and like all muscles it must workout to retain and grow its strength.
In other words, you must use your mind. Regularly!
How do you do that?
It’s a special compound anyone can muck together at any time and dose themselves with.
Broken down, the compound tells us that doing is the origin of confidence.
Memory confidence, that is. Also general mental competence.
Why is confidence so important?
Because confidence is a powerful “substance” that nourishes everything in your brain. It leads to accomplishment.
And working your mental muscles in a way that creates accomplishing-by-doing is one of the best brain supplements in the world.
The other vitamin that can really help improve memory is Vitamin M.
Vitamin M comes from creating Memory Palaces the Magnetic Memory Method way.
This is by far the coolest and easiest way to boost your brain function and make it easy to learn and remember anything.
That’s not all…
D.O.C. comes almost free because getting started involves nothing more than a simple drawing that follows some simple principles.
Why Is The Memory Palace The Best Memory Vitamin?
The answer is simple:
Unlike mind mapping, which unlocks multiple intelligences, a Magnetic Memory Method Memory Palace approach does that and more.
Creating Memory Palaces the Magnetic Memory Method way allows you to develop and use spatial memory in a way that unlocks the power of your multiple intelligences plus autobiographical memory, episodic memory, semantic memory, procedural memory and other kinds of memory.
This incredible combination of intelligence and memory strengthening is very powerful because, combined with Recall Rehearsal, the holistic process lets you move information from short term memory into long term memory faster.
You not only get to remember the information faster, but also get predictable and reliable permanence that grows in strength each time you use the Magnetic Memory Method.
Memory Palaces also have another unique characteristic:
All other memory techniques can be used inside of Memory Palaces. But this never takes place the other way around (For example, you can’t use Memory Palaces inside of the Major Method the way you can use the Major Method inside of Memory Palaces.)
If you choose this memory training technique…
Click on the link below to get started:
Vitamins For Memory Are Not At All About The Fruit
It is super-simple to use a Memory Palaces, but you’ve got to create time for it.
And a great way to make sure you get time for your daily dose of ‘memory’ pills is through P.E.A.C.H.
What the heck is P.E.A.C.H.?
Practice Encoding At Calm Hours
This is such a powerful principle because the question is not how to practice memory techniques (just take the free course to learn how).
The real question is: when?
If you take the time to practice building Memory Palaces and exercising your brain through other means during times when you are uninterrupted, it leads to better implantation of that information in your long term memory.
When you P.E.A.C.H you also get the time to create effective Magnetic Imagery and perform effective Recall Rehearsal – both essential to building effective Memory Palaces.
Using the Magnetic Memory Method is great because, once you’re rolling, good memory abilities get you more time.
More time means you can practice memory enhancing techniques more often.
And that means experiencing better memory, better focus, clarity and concentration.
It’s a win-win!
No magic pill or supplement can help improve your memory or lift brain fog. In fact, vitamin supplements can at best give you a .02% verbal memory advantage (whatever that means).
It’s only through a balanced diet, meditation, sleep, and an effective, dedicated memory strategy (like the Magnetic Memory Method) that you will be able to enhance your memory, concentration and focus in a way that improves your entire life.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s build your brain powers today!
Another great podcast, Anthony. I follow this diet for memory improvement:
The End of Alzheimer’s
It involves quite a lot of medical testing and seems to be an empirically proven approach. It’s a very interesting book.
Looks like a great book, Andrew. Thanks kindly for mentioning it and giving us all an opportunity to read it. I’m going to order it and give it a read. I really appreciate the tip! 🙂
I was thinking about complementing your good ideas.
Outdoor activities in the sun for at least 15 minutes in daylight. Helps in many ways it regulates the sleep cycle, it fights against mental health issues.
Also your skin produces vitamin D, which reduces risk of getting dementia/alzeimers. If you live close to polar areas, where autumn and winter means very weak sunlight, you make sure to complement with vitamin D3 to your outdoor daylight activities (which is still important for your minds health).
Excellent additions, Pelle. Thanks for including them with this post – much appreciated! 🙂
Nice post, Anthony! Good thing I like all the superfoods you mention. Was thinking as I read this that something along the line of this post might be a good guest post for someone like Tim Ferriss. Don’t know if that interests you but I’ll throw it out there. 😉
That is a lovely compliment coming from one of the writers I admire the most, Leanne – thanks!
Now that you mention it, this probably would fit well on the 4 Hour Workweek blog. I was always thinking of tackling it from the angle of mnemonic-mechanics, but this information is just as critical and of interest to him and his audience.
Consider the mission accepted and thanks again for stopping by! 🙂