If you struggle to recall basic life details, a memory supplement can help. Short-term and long-term memory loss can occur at any age. It's not limited to adults and elders. Frequent memory lapses happen to the best of us. Even the surest minded individuals forget things on occasion. But you’ll know when it's become a problem.
Missing the doctor’s or forgetting work meetings gets old quick. Is old age a culprit for loss of focus and memory power? Maybe brain fog and mental fatigue from a hectic lifestyle are to blame. The truth is, it's a little of everything. Even the food you eat can play a role in improving memory retention.
There are plenty of healthy ways to help memory formation without prescription drugs. You may have heard the term “nootropic” used recently. Herbal nootropics are reliable natural memory boosters for developing a sharper mind. By and large, they are both safe and effective. Many brain supplements exist for memory enhancement, but only a few live up to the claims. Information overload makes choosing one a difficult task, but we've made it easier. In today's article, we’ve selected the best memory supplements in 2019 to review.
It’s important to note; single nootropics can work wonders for brain development. Nootropics can increase your ability to interpret complicated concepts and process stored information. These memory boosting supplements work best when stacked with other natural herbs. We will elaborate on many of these stackable herbal supplements below. Before we dive in, let’s discuss the core concepts of how improving memory works.
Synaptic Plasticity & Memory Retention
In neuroscience, synaptic plasticity is the vital neurochemical foundation for memory and learning. It involves the strengthening or weakening of your brain’s synapses. In other words, it is your brain’s ability to build and maintain neural connections over time. The brain forms new memories by creating neural pathways to retain learned information. Our list of memory supplements below supports this critical “data storage” process.
Presenting your brain with new mental challenges promotes growth and sharpens memory. Studying and learning will stimulate positive plastic changes in your brain’s synapses. This type of mental training strengthens glutamatergic synaptic transmission, boosting memory function. Have you ever noticed how some students seem to score better on tests and exams than others? It’s not always genetics or luck. When hard work and preparation become a habit, your brain is the beneficiary.
Strategies for enhancing memory skills include reading, solving puzzles and playing educational games. Performing recall exercises and other cognitive training activities can also help. Don't overlook proper diet and nutrition or a fitness regimen. These items, along with regular sleeping patterns are crucial for healthy brain function. Make sure to continue challenging your brain—it’s a muscle! Do not rely on memory pills alone to enhance cognitive function. Taking a memory supplement while utilizing the strategies above will improve memory development.
How Acetylcholine Improves Memory Recall
Acetylcholine (ACh for short) was the first neurotransmitter discovered in the human body. Known as the “learning neurotransmitter,” acetylcholine's prominent role involves supporting cognition. It acts as a neuromodulator influencing how your brain retrieves and processes information. Acetylcholine is an integral part of increasing memory retention. Even a minor improvement in the cholinergic system has a profound cognitive impact.
Many people are choline deficient due to their poor dieting choices. An extra choline supplement boosts neuroplasticity, decision-making, and learning skills. If something influences acetylcholine levels, it's considered a “cholinergic” substance. The best memory supplements always contain a high-quality choline source like Alpha GPC. Avoid low-quality sources like DMAE, Choline Bitartrate, and CDP-Choline (Citicoline). These lesser choline sources have low bioavailability. Low bioavailability means they offer little nootropic benefit for memory enhancement.
Now that we understand how memory works, let’s cover the top natural memory boosters and pills in 2019. In our list, we will discuss the following supplements: Bacopa Monnieri, Huperzine A, Alpha GPC, Phosphatidylserine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Vinpocetine, Rhodiola Rosea, Ginkgo Biloba, MCT Oil (Medium-Chain Triglycerides), Omega-3 Fish Oil.
Best Memory Boosting Supplements & Pills 2019
1. Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa Monnieri is one of the top natural nootropic supplements for memory enhancement. It serves as a useful stress and anxiety reliever, and brain protectant. Bacopa works by influencing dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. This effect improves cognition in both elderly and young adults. Bacopa is also an adaptogen and antioxidant from Ayurvedic medicine. When supplemented, this herb can stimulate the growth of nerve endings called dendrites. Dendrite stimulation enhances neuron communication, improving short-term and long-term memory retention.
There’s a reason Bacopa Monnieri is a staple ingredient in today’s best memory supplements. The research is quite definitive. Several studies suggest Bacopa can increase memory recall and treat ADHD naturally. Many current studies show a link between Bacopa and boosting memory. This improvement is most evident in Alzheimer’s patients experiencing sudden memory loss. Other subjects with neurodegenerative diseases noted reduced forgetfulness using Bacopa as well.
2. Huperzine A
When discussing natural remedies for memory loss, Huperzine A always enters the conversation. Huperzine A, or Huperzia Serrata, is the purified form of a firmoss plant known as Chinese Club Moss. This potent nootropic offers many benefits for working memory function and neuroprotection.
Here’s how this memory booster works. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is a natural enzyme occurring in the human body. AChE handles breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. In contrast, Huperzine inhibits enzymes (like AChE) from breaking down acetylcholine. Therefore, Huperzine is in the “acetylcholinesterase antagonist” class of choline supplements.
Active inhibition of AChE allows neurotransmitter acetylcholine to increase. This cognitive effect is why the best natural memory supplements often contain Huperzine. Increasing the level of ACh improves memory retention, mental clarity, and neuroplasticity. When stacked with a good choline source such as Alpha GPC, the benefits of Huperzine A amplify. Alpha GPC increases choline directly, and Huperzine A prevents its breakdown. The result is a fine-tuned cholinergic system. Huperzine A is a well-tolerated herb with little to no cholinergic-related side effects.
3. Alpha GPC
Most pills that help memory loss will boost acetylcholine levels in some fashion. In our Alpha GPC review, we go into detail on why this memory supplement is the best choline source. Alpha GPC is like Huperzine A in that it will enhance the body’s cholinergic system. Protecting the brain from age-related cognitive decline is one of its many benefits.
Additionally, it improves focus and concentration and develops sharper recall. Still, there is a significant distinction that we need to make. Alpha GPC is an actual choline source, not an acetylcholinesterase inhibi