The decline in cognitive function may not be one of the most apparent signs of aging, especially as we tend to focus more on the superficial effects, but it is something to be aware of and, if possible, prevent. Most people are familiar with the degenerative diseases Alzheimer’s and Dementia and while not everyone will suffer from these, many seniors will be affected in some degree by memory loss as they age.
Fortunately these declines in cognitive function are being more openly discussed than ever before and we are encouraged by doctors and healthcare professionals to take proactive steps in order to slow it down as much as possible. Some companies offer ‘games’ for the brain – basically exercises that strengthen the muscle to keep it healthy and alert.* Even doing crossword and number puzzles can give the brain a good ‘workout’ which, the experts say, is just as important as exercising the body. However, no matter how much we keep our minds active, memory loss and a decline in alertness and concentration levels is inevitable at some point.*
While it is certainly important to do whatever possible in terms of keeping the brain actively engaged, the use of pharmaceuticals and natural supplements has also become more popular and there is an increasing amount of these products, sometimes called ‘nootropics’, available on the market.* It is up to the individual of course to decide which route to take – either pharmaceutical or alternative – but many people will opt for the more natural approach.* These supplements, sold in health stores and online, may be just as effective as doctor-prescribed treatments and they don’t carry the same risks of harmful side effects or drug interactions.* In fact, some of the ingredients now used in many natural cognitive function supplements are often used to support more severe degenerative diseases and as such, should have undergone rigorous clinical testing and consumer trials.*
So what exactly are the key, active ingredients that should be present in an effective cognitive supplement? There are several important ingredients that consumers should look for when selecting a good supplement including those that help to maintain cellular function and support strong neurotransmitters, which are vital for relaying and retaining information.* B vitamins are thought to be particularly beneficial in keeping the nervous system functioning at an optimal level while Omega 3 fatty acids, which are part of the brain development process in younger people, may protect the brain from future degeneration.* Amino Acids are vital for general health and several natural botanical herbs are often included for their ability in the upkeep of a healthy flow of blood to the brain.* This good flow ensures the brain is oxidized, maintaining cognitive energy for better learning ability.*