In the world of brain health, having increased mental performance and focus is the goal. After all, cognitive decline can begin as early as your 20s and 30s if you aren’t taking steps to boost your brain power. And the best memory supplements are one way to help.
So, can a pill really improve your memory?
Honestly, studies are super promising!
Today, we’ll go over the best memory supplements for memory and focus, along with research to back up their benefits.
Much like with anything to improve your health, it’s best to speak to your doctor before trying out new supplements. This does not differ from asking your doctor about a post surgery diet, as your health provider will understand your specific body’s needs in a way we cannot.
That being said, let’s dive into the best memory supplements you can take to boost your brain power.
The 7 best supplements for memory and focus
There are many over-the-counter options that claim to be the best memory supplements. With “claim” being the crucial word. Therefore, you won’t see any branded products in this list.
Based on current research, here are some of the best memory supplements - along with studies on how they might improve your cognitive function.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, have two beneficial components: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Out of the two, DHA is what 25% of the fat in your brain cells is made of. Because of this, it is a tool your brain uses for cognitive function. DHA has been shown in many studies to improve memory and reaction times, giving it great potential as one of the best memory supplements.
EPA, the other acid, doesn’t have the same connections to improved brain function. However, EPA can still work as a preventative measure, as it has anti-inflammatory properties that protect the brain against damage.
Fish oil supplements have also been shown to have notable heart benefits. Studies have shown that fish oil can benefit those with coronary heart disease. Improving physical health, which you can see in our article on collagen peptides benefits, can also help to improve your memory.
To get enough Omega-3, you can eat two servings of fatty fish per week. Of course, if you don’t like fish, a fish oil supplement is a fine substitute.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E has been shown to be effective in helping those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This makes it a good potential as one of the best memory supplements for people with Alzheimer’s.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties, which gives it the ability to treat oxidative stress, a contributing factor to neurodegeneration.
Often, vitamin E comes as a natural part of your diet, found in nuts, vegetables (like spinach), and vegetable fats. Having low levels of vitamin E is more likely to occur in people who have low-fat diets.
Theanine is an amino acid you most often find in your green tea. The way it typically affects your brain is through improving mood and helping you sleep better.
Studies have shown that Theanine may improve cognitive function. As a result, this has potential as one of the best memory supplements.
Because there are few studies of Theanine, its long-term effects are mostly unknown. Much as with any supplement on this list, consult your doctor before taking it.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is made in the brain, kidneys, and liver. The human body uses this chemical to turn body fat into energy.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is sometimes used in treatments for Alzheimer's disease because there are several studies suggesting its ability to reduce cognitive decline.
It’s unknown whether the chemical itself or the chemical it produces (just called L-carnitine) is the cause for the results, but emerging studies still make acetyl-L-carnitine a promising addition to our list of the best memory supplements.
Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds known as polyphenols. These polyphenols come from plants, and are thought to help with digestion and brain health.
Studies have shown that resveratrol has the potential to increase memory retention. In the study referenced, there were increases in retention in overweight and elderly individuals. However, most of the data is still young, so more testing is required to prove it is one of the best memory supplements.
In regular consumption, polyphenols like Resveratrol are found in the skin of red grapes. As a result, drinking red wine (in moderation) may be healthy for you!
Most resveratrol supplements do not come from foods like berries or grape skin. Instead, when people take Resveratrol supplements to improve memory, they usually come from the Polygonum cuspidatum plant, otherwise known as Japanese knotweed.
Phosphatidylserine has shown effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s Disease according to existing studies, giving it strong potential to be one of the best memory supplements.
Unlike most of the supplements you see on this list, phosphatidylserine is not something you get naturally through your food. Instead, it is a type of phospholipid, meaning it protects the cells in your brain and helps carry messages.
In early studies dating back to the 1980s, phosphatidylserine was taken from cow brains. However, this practice was ended because of concerns behind mad cow disease. These days, scientists have plant-based sources from cabbage or soybeans.
Phosphatidylserine is an issue for those taking blood thinners, those with blood clots, those taking anti-inflammatory medicines (like for headaches and pains), or those taking performance enhancing supplements. Because of these potential side effects, it’s always best to consult your doctor before starting any supplements to improve memory.
Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in the human body. You can find it in your skin, bones, and connective tissue among other places. You are more likely to see people taking collagen supplements for their skin health, or to assist a wound that is not healing.
But studies have shown that the daily consumption of hydrolyzed collagen for memory can result in improved language cognitive function.
Collagen may also be one of the best supplements for mental health, since the glycine in collagen can help with mood, sleep, and even schizophrenia symptoms.
There are many types of collagen supplements out there, so if you are looking for the best memory supplements, make sure to choose a hydrolyzed collagen supplement from a reputable brand.
Hydrolyzed collagen has been broken down into smaller pieces that are easier to digest - giving you access to all the benefits of your supplement.
It’s for this reason that we don’t recommend getting collagen from your diet alone. Collagen in its whole form (in animal products) is more difficult for your body to absorb and utilize.
As long as you are taking a high-quality, hydrolyzed collagen supplement, the form you take it in is flexible - such as powder, pill, or liquid.
Tips when picking the best memory supplements
There are a lot of potential brain supplements available out there, but as with anything pertaining to your health, it’s best to stay critical in your selection process. Below, you’ll find some tips to take home when browsing the best memory supplements online.
Consult your doctor
When choosing supplements to improve memory, you might not know how they will react with current medications you are taking. To stay safe, always consult your doctor before taking any new supplements.
We’ve mentioned this a few times because of how important it is. Those who are pregnant or have existing medical conditions should be extra cautious. Despite the best memory supplements on this list being generally safe, you should always be careful when taking anything new.
Most dietary supplements are ideal for filling in gaps for your diet. If you are already receiving the recommended dosage, taking additional supplements to improve memory can overdo it.
Practice a healthy diet and lifestyle
Dietary supplements are just that: supplements to your diet. If you want to improve your cognitive health, your first step should be to start with your food. A healthy diet is incredibly important for both mental and physical health.
All the brain health supplements in the world won’t help you if you don’t take care of yourself. Your brain health and body health are directly connected. So try to eat plenty of vegetables, have sweets in moderation, and stay active.
Check your lifestyle choices
Lifestyle choices that affect your brain health aren’t limited to eating well and having a good exercise routine. You also need to take care of other aspects of your life. This includes areas of sleep, mental health, and social life.
Your mental health is an important part of your brain health, as they are intrinsically connected. Take steps to improve your mental health and focus, whether they be through meditation, quality time with loved ones, therapy, or ensuring a full night’s rest.
Know the limitations of dietary supplements
When browsing for supplements online, it’s important to be cautious with what you buy. This is because the FDA doesn’t require medical approval of dietary supplements to support their claims.
The producers of dietary supplements often create them based on trending terms. Therefore, searching for any of the above supplements will reveal a wide range of results for purchase.
Of course, some of these products have the potential to provide cognitive benefits, which would earn them their rightful place on our list of best memory supplements. However, these same products don’t have to prove their claims at the same level as prescription medications.
This means that companies could put additives, sweeteners, fillers, and other ingredients in their supplements that could greatly affect the way your body reacts to them.
The bottom line is that you should choose your supplements from a reputable source, and always read the nutrition labels carefully.
A trusted source for the best memory supplements
When finding the best memory supplements, you want to choose a company with great reviews and studies to back up its claims.
ProT Gold collagen protein is a medical-grade collagen supplement. This means that it IS, in fact, regulated by the FDA. The manufacturing of ProT Gold collagen is also overseen by medical professionals, and this high-quality supplement is trusted for use in medical nutrition by almost 4,000 medical facilities across the USA.
Best yet, ProT Gold collagen is nano-hydrolyzed, making it even more bioavailable than regular hydrolyzed collagen. In fact, ProT Gold, in both liquid and powder forms, is proven to achieve full absorption in just 15 minutes - allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of one of the best memory supplements.
Additional FAQs about the best memory supplements
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about memory supplements.
Does vitamin B12 help with memory?
Lower levels of vitamin B12 have been shown to result in cognitive decline. However, most people typically use B12 as an energy booster when they don’t have enough of the vitamin in them.
Those with a deficiency might benefit from its use, but there’s no solid evidence that it can help with brain function.
Are there any FDA-approved medications for memory loss?
Currently, there are five specifically for Alzheimer’s Disease: Galantamine, Rivastigmine, Namzaric, Donepezil, and Memantine. For general memory loss, there are no specific medications.
How long does it take collagen for memory to start working?
As long as you are taking a high-quality, hydrolyzed collagen supplement, you should expect to start seeing results within 90 days. Of course, the exact timeline will depend on your supplement, your biology, and the results you are hoping to achieve.