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While working in my pharmacy I had a regular customer who came in monthly to purchase her memory pills (lecithin). She would walk in and say “Dave, I need my memory pills” and reach down and pick up a bottle and walk to the register. One day several months later, she walked into my store and said “Dave, I need my memory pills but forget what they are”. My response was “you must have been out of them for awhile”. I know that sounds cruel, but she laughed we figured out what she needed. As our aging population continues grow, this type of situation will grow too, but it isn’t limited to just older people anymore. The following blog is not only dealing with Age Related Cognitive Decline but cognitive issues for all ages. Regardless if you are a teen or a senior or somewhere in between, the info in my blog will benefit all.

Is your memory going bad because you have too many trains on the track (too many thoughts at one time), you’re in school, busy life, or perhaps it is an age related situation? I remember walking out of my hotel to get into my car and had trouble remembering where I parked it. Regardless of the underlying reason you have cognitive issues, there are some great new supplements that can help get you “back on track”, but first let’s take a broader look at some lifestyle changes we can make too.

Consume more antioxidants: Make sure your diet is high in antioxidants. Berries, greens, red, yellow and orange fruits and veggies are naturally high in antioxidants. Believe it or not, consuming a bit of caffeine can improve your cognitive abilities. I would rather have you use tea to get this caffeine, but I am also a realist and coffee does offer caffeine and other health benefits in moderation.

Lifestyle adjustments: consider stopping smoking, increasing activity (exercise) and getting enough rest (all part of my Four Pillars of Great Health) will also aid in the fight against this slowly developing condition. Remember, following my 4-Pillars (Supplements, Diet, Activity and Prayer) will carry you a long way in every health challenge you face.

Moving into the supplement side of this condition, Mother Nature offers us a few exciting and science based alternatives. Of all the supplements out there my newest and favorite is Cera-Q® which is found in the product Cognium®. Cognium® contains the ingredient with 9 human clinical trials proving its ability to improve memory and cognition in both adults and children. Not only does Cognium have the studies to prove it works, they also show how fast it works: In as little as 3-4 weeks people will realize the change. It works in several ways by energizing and protecting the brain. One of the ways it works is to move the brain’s energy source (sugar) to the areas that are being used at that time. Just like your home, if the power doesn’t get to the light it doesn’t work. When I first started taking Cognium® I noticed a difference in just a few days as my “head” felt like it was sharp and had much better focus/concentration.  I feel sharper, more alert and comfortable knowing it is also providing benefits similar to an antioxidant for my brain. Dosing is between 100-200mg 2 times daily with the average person requiring just 100mg for each dose.

Another favorite of mine takes a different approach and provides some of the nutritional components that the body uses to manufacture neurotransmitters. Phosphatidylserine (PS) and Phosphatidylcholine provide key nutrients (Serine and Choline) used in neurotransmitter production. When you give the body the tools it needs, it will take care of itself. Science has shown that taking PS can significantly improve cognitive function and help a host of other nervous system disorders including depression. Based on my biochemistry background you may wish to add in B-complex and magnesium when you take these supplements to enhance the conversion of choline and serine into the end product your body needs for neurotransmitter support.

Other common supplements used such as DHA (one of the Omega-3s) provide nutrients to support brain formation and nervous system support but lack the research studies to show their direct impact on cognitive function, memory and concentration. There are many other supplements that have been mentioned to help in these areas but truthfully do not have the research to prove they work. I am not saying they (Ginkgo Biloba, Huperzine-A, etc.) are bad for you or won’t work, what I am saying is that I would rather suggest things that are proven.