Memory Supplement Reviews 2023
We all have such busy, stressful lives. Juggling work tasks, side hustles, social media notifications, emails, bills, family time, socializing, and relationships…there is no wonder we feel the effects of brain fog and memory problems. Brain health is often a top priority since changes occur as part of the normal aging process. According to the CDC, one in nine adults age 45 or older report memory loss or confusion. To be proactive, many people are looking for ways to support their brain health.
Activities like crossword puzzles, sudoku, and learning another language are common ways to stimulate the brain. Physical activities may also impact brain health. Research has found a link between physical exercise and brain health support.
The volume of people searching online for the term ‘memory supplement’ are on the rise. This was searched over 18,000 times on Google alone in September of 2022.
It should be noted at this point that if you are having memory problems, you should ALWAYS seek advice from your doctor before considering a memory supplement!
Do Memory Supplements Work?
Searching for ‘memory supplement’ returns hundreds of brands that mention ‘improved memory’, ‘supports cognitive function’, or ‘brain health’ as benefits. But could it really be that simple? Can we just take a pill, and our forgetfulness disappears? Does a genuine supplement for focus and memory exist? It sounds far-fetched.
Millions of dollars have been spent on research to identify reasons why memory loss occurs and discover ingredients that may help improve memory, attenuate memory loss, and support cognitive function. Memory pills are big business, there is even a Joe Rogan memory supplement.
Let’s look at the causes of memory loss and brain fog, common ingredients which are claimed to improve memory, and the evidence for and against memory supplements.
Causes of Memory Loss
Aside from aging and well-known diseases such as dementia, there are other things that can induce memory problems.
- The brain’s ability to grow and form new connections typically declines with age, which may explain why mental functioning gets worse in many older adults.
- Sometimes, memory loss occurs with mental health problems after a traumatic or stressful event, with depression or other mental health disorders, and stress can make it difficult to focus, which can lead to memory problems.
- Alcohol or the use of prescription or illegal drugs can affect brain health.
- Nutrient Deficiency - Low levels of important nutrients or vitamins, such as low vitamin B1 or B12 can cause brain fog.
- Sleep deprivation can lead to slowed thinking and memory problems.
- Clinical issues - many chronic illnesses can lead to brain fog and memory loss.
- Brain Fog - Brain fog is characterized by confusion, forgetfulness, and a lack of focus and mental clarity. This can be caused by overworking, lack of sleep, stress, and too much screen time.
Supplements for Focus and Memory
Much of the recent research around ‘memory supplements’ has focused on Lion's Mane.
Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is a mushroom that grows on trunks of dead hardwood trees such as oak. It has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Many people are taking Lion's Mane as a memory supplement, but does research support this claim?
Here’s what we know about Lion's Mane for Memory
Nerve Growth Factor is a protein in the brain that promotes neurite growth and combats neuronal death (neurons use electrical impulses and chemical signals to transmit information between different areas of the brain and between the brain and the rest of the nervous system
Researchers believe that deficiency of NGF is related to memory loss and related illnesses.
NGF cannot be taken as a supplement, however, researchers have identified compounds that encourage the body to produce more NGF naturally, such as Lion's Mane. Lion's Mane is packed with beneficial compounds, including erinacines and hericenones. These compounds are thought to stimulate Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which could potentially make Lion's Mane a candidate as a supplement for brain fog.
Here’s the evidence for and against Lion’s Mane being an effective supplement for focus and memory.
- In one study, individuals diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment were given a total of three grams of Lion's Mane mushroom or placebo every day for 16 weeks. The adults who received Lion's Mane experienced significant increases in scores assessing cognitive function. Researchers did a follow-up four weeks after the trial and found a significant decrease in their cognitive function scores when they had not been taking Lion's Mane for memory. Researchers concluded that supplementing with Lion's Mane resulted in improved memory and cognitive function, provided it’s taken consistently. The downside of this study is the age group studied was 50- 80 years old, and more studies on a younger population should be undertaken.
- Additional animal studies have demonstrated that Lion's Mane may improve memory and cognitive function in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. These studies have not yet been repeated in human studies.
- Lion's Mane mushroom and its extracts have been shown to reduce symptoms of memory loss in mice, as well as prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques. Animal study results do not always translate to the same effect in humans, however these results are still promising.
Could Lion's Mane also reduce stress-induced memory loss?
- New animal research has found that Lion's Mane mushroom extract has anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in mice.
- Other animal studies have found that Lion's Mane extract can also help regenerate brain cells and improve the functioning of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotional responses. Researchers believe that improved functioning of the hippocampus may explain the reductions in anxious and depressive behaviors in mice given these extracts.
- Lion’s Mane is classed as an adaptogen. Through actions on the endocrine and nervous systems, adaptogens help to balance the body's reactions to physical and mental stress. When taken regularly, Lion's Mane mushroom supplements support the brain's ability to adapt and maintain functional balance in spite of adverse conditions and stresses.
Here’s what we can conclude about using Lion's Mane as a memory supplement:
- Human studies conclude that Lion's Mane could be an effective remedy for memory loss, however, more studies are needed on larger groups and varied age ranges.
- As an adaptogen, Lion's Mane could be a good option to manage stress levels and support restful sleep, which in turn could improve cognitive function. More studies are needed to verify these results.
- Given that there are no downsides to taking Lion's Mane, its low cost, and high availability, it may be worth a try if you are looking for a supplement for brain fog.
- On average, you should take Lion's Mane supplements for at least two weeks before you can expect to notice any effects.
Best Mushroom Supplements for Memory & Cognition
Powderful is an easy way to incorporate Lion's Mane plus other stress-reducing adaptogens into your daily routine, and the benefits are not only for brain health!
Powderful is a blend of 4 functional mushrooms, 7 adaptogens, spices, and zinc. Take one dose daily to support energy levels, focus, mood, immune function, skin health and collagen production, digestive health, and restful sleep.