Having a “Senior’s Moment”? Top Memory-Improving Supplements for Active People 50+
No one likes the idea of aging, and while many take issue with the changes in the mirror, it’s the loss of cognitive function that can really terrify a person.
Memory loss is usually the first symptom of age-related cognitive decline. The sense of fear surrounding it is totally natural because so many aspects of our daily lives are associated with memory and its gradual loss is associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s – a progressive condition that causes brain cells to degenerate.
There’s no need to fear however – less than 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. On top of that, most of them have had their brains compromised by drugs and other toxic substances. This article is going to dive into these topics, describe how memory works and help you form a strategy to stay sharp into later years. In addition to all that, there will be a section at the end with suggestions for some memory improvement supplements to enhance cognitive performance.
How Memory Works
Most actions we take throughout the day depend on memory in some form or another. From the time you wake up in the morning, you “remember” that you need to put your feet on the floor to get out of bed. Before leaving the house you “remember” to turn the knob on the door. And when you go to work you “remember” the direction to go even if you’ve done it a thousand times.
And yet, when you go to a party you may be introduced to ten people and not remember a single name. While listening to music on your coffee break you might hear an old song from when you were a kid and remember all the lyrics. Why?
How does it all work? What makes some things easy to remember and other things difficult?
The answer lies in how the brain processes different types of memories, the level of repetition of each event plus the degree of importance assigned to every new piece of information.
The Different Types of Memory
While the brain is one of the most complex organs in existence, this article will try to simplify the types of memory.
For now, consider two types: short and long-term memory.
Short-term memory is just that: information received within a short period of time. If we think it’s important, we store that information straight away (like the time on the clock telling us we are late). If we don’t think it’s important, we discard it (like the information on some television commercials).
Long-term memory is created from “important” information, whether it’s exciting or not.
Almost everyone remembers how they felt when they watched the twin towers fall in New York City in 2001 (if you were the right age), yet most don’t remember the first time we tied our shoelaces correctly and they stayed in a knot. Yet we remember both those things without much effort.
In the case of the twin towers, it was the “shock” that imprinted the event in our minds. In the case of the shoelaces, it was the repetition of the action – over and over again – that imprinted it in our memory forever.
Causes of Memory Loss
Memory loss, in simple terms, is considered to be a degradation of the structures in the brain that hold information.
It can also be a case of overload. These days we are literally bombarded with so much information. And on top of that, a lot of it is pretty useless.
Social Media and Memory Loss
While scrolling through social media feeds of pictures of friends/family, we might get thrown off track with an advertisement that has us wondering “where was I?” or “why am I on this site again?” – prompting many to think they are having a “senior’s moment”.
But in most cases, it’s a case of overloaded storage centers in the brain. There is so much to take in from the digital world, and our brains are slowly adapting to it and learning to prioritize the important information from the junk.
Other Causes of Memory Loss
Some memory loss can result from physical, mental and emotional causes, and is most often rooted in stress. Some common causes associated with brain degradation include:
- Insomnia/sleep deprivation
- Alcohol abuse
- Head trauma/injuries
- Poor diet (fat/protein deficiency)
- Medications (anti-anxiety medications, tranquilizers, antidepressants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, pain relievers, sleeping pills, etc.)
- Smoking (cigarettes or marijuana)
A well-rounded diet, adequate sleep, meditation and effective stress-management strategies can help to combat age-related degradation of the brain and body. Not only does this improve memory function, but it can help overall physical performance in all aspects of life.
Memory and Brain Supplements for Seniors
Supplements can help support a holistic health plan to improve brain and body function. Here are our top four memory supplements that can help prevent age-related decline for seniors and anyone that has experienced symptoms of brain degeneration:
Reduced Glutathione – Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Lion’s mane mushroom has been prescribed in traditional Eastern medicine to improve cognition through increased oxygen flow.
Magnesium L-threonate – Created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, magnesium l-threonate is a special proprietary form of magnesium that is formulated to pass the blood-brain barrier of the brain to boost neuroplasticity.
Ashwagandha – Used for hundreds of years in India, ashwagandha is considered to be effective in reducing stress and cortisol levels.