Monday, October 14, 2013

How To Protect Your Memory with Supplements

Reposted from Life Extension

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

You've probably had at least a few “senior moments” in your lifetime, who hasn't? Now this doesn't necessarily mean that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s disease; it just means that your brain has normal lapses just like everyone else’s.

So if you’re like most of us, you probably want to keep your brain as sharp as possible as the years go by. Keeping your precious memories within reach is pretty important, because after all, they help define the very essence of your being.

And since you’re never too young or too old to start, the best time to start protecting your memory is now.

So consider these three proven memory-boosting supplements sooner than later. Why? Because they actually work.

Memory Protector #1: Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a combination of carnitine (an antioxidant found in red meat) and an acetyl group. You've probably heard of acetylcholine. It’s the neurotransmitter that regulates thought, learning, and memory. Well, acetyl-L-carnitine helps its production.

In one study, people supplementing with 1.5 to 2 grams of acetyl-L-carnitine daily showed improvement in memory scores.1 These individuals had mild cognitive impairment (MCT), a condition which involves some degree of memory loss but is not yet dementia. Acetyl-L-carnitine has also benefited early-stage Alzheimer’s patients.2

Memory Protector #2: Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a plant extract derived from Chinese club moss. It’s used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Huperzine A works in a similar fashion to certain Alzheimer’s drugs. It inhibits acetylcholinesterase,3 an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.

Young, healthy adults taking huperzine A have experienced improved learning and memory.4 Older adults have experienced benefits as well.

In a review of four clinical trials, huperzine A was found to significantly improve cognitive scores in Alzheimer’s disease patients.5 It also improved the ability to perform activities of daily living.

Memory Protector #3: Magnesium L-Threonate

Magnesium L-threonate is a special type of magnesium that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. This makes it unique because no other forms are known to cross easily.

In a study, animals given magnesium L-threonate experienced an 18% increase in short-term memory and a 100% increase for long-term memory.6 So how does it work?

Magnesium L-threonate increases synaptic density.7 These are the connections between neurons in the brain. The more connections, it’s believed, the better one’s memory, concentration, and attention span.

Magnesium L-threonate also protects the brain against oxidative stress, a process which destroys neurons. For this reason, we seriously suggest giving this one an extra look.

The Bottom Line

Remember — you’re never too young or too old to start taking care of your brain. Regardless of where you are in life, now is the time to start putting the health of yours into full focus.

So exercise your brain daily, take on new hobbies or learn something new, and consider giving some of the supplements mentioned in this post a try. Being proactive now could mean many more enjoyable years later, filled with the memories you've spent your life creating.

Have you been using any of the supplements we’ve mentioned above yourself? If so, please tell us what you think in the comments!


  1. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1994;20(4):169-76.
  2. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova.2011;111(9):16-22.
  3. Nanomedicine. 2011 Feb;7(1):60-8.
  4. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1999 Jul;20(7):601-3.
  5. J Neural Transm. 2009 Apr;116(4):457-65.
  6. Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77.
  7. J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 19;31(42):14871-81.