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Best supplements for the brain: Four supplements proven to protect your brain

The brain is arguably the most important organ in the body, helping you to control and coordinate actions and reactions, think and feel, and process memories and experience feelings. In other words, the brain forms the bedrock of what it means to be human. The ageing process can pose a threat to this essential organ, causing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the stage of cognitive decline that precedes dementia.


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It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes.

While it is not exactly known how to prevent cognitive decline, promising evidence suggests lifestyle interventions can preserve and boost breath health, offering protection against brain decline.

According to UK-based nutritionist Libby Limon, dietary supplements hold particular promise in this area.

Here are five supplements shown to stave off the risk of cognitive decline:

B vitamins

According to Limon, B vitamins, particularly folate are proving to play a major role in brain development and health from foetus all the way to old age.

Folate is one of the B-vitamins is needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA.

How does it boost breath health?

Limon explains: “Folate is integral in the methylation pathway which in the brain supports DNA replication.

“How efficient our methylation pathway is down to genetics, but supporting that pathway with plenty of dietary folate can make all the difference, especially to those that are poor methylators.”

DNA methylation is an example of one of the many mechanisms of epigenetics. Epigenetics refers to inheritable changes in your DNA that don’t change the actual DNA sequence.

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Early findings suggest DNA methylation may reduce the genetic risk of developing certain conditions.


According to Limon, inflammation is often considered the root cause of degenerative brain diseases.

“Turmeric is potent anti-inflammatory, as such it has already shown potential in animal studies to reduce or help prevent brain cell damage,” she says.

As research progresses to human studies, turmeric’s potential in boosting brain health is beginning to be unleashed.


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Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic herb that has been traditionally used to sharpen the mind and the intellect.

As Limon reports, modern studies show like turmeric has anti-inflammatory effect on brain cells, thus have a protective effect.

“Healthy cells mean a healthy and sharp mind,” she adds.

Lion’s mane mushrooms

“Research has found that lion’s mane mushrooms may protect against dementia, reduce mild symptoms of anxiety and depression and help repair nerve damage,” explains Limon.

In one study, lion’s mane dietary supplements appeared to give mice better object recognition and recognition memory.

Other researchers have concluded that the mushrooms may have the potential to treat or prevent diseases that cause a decline in cognitive health, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia in the UK.

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