Every article regarding cognitive-enhancing supplementation has a different opinion around which supplement is more effective than others. The consensus seems to be that there is no real consensus. Some research claims ingesting Ginkgo Biloba is an effective method to increase brain function, yet other research states there is no evidence to prove that ingesting Ginkgo Biloba does anything to slow cognitive decline. The best takeaway from this blog is to be wary of someone claiming they have the secret to improving brain function and capability. [1,2]
There are certain things to avoid when buying supplements. It’s just a good rule of thumb to not buy supplements that were manufactured outside of the USA. There are different regulations in other countries, and some places have more lax rules around facility maintenance. This could lead to supplements having traces of other stuff you did not consent to ingest.
This does not mean that all supplements made in the U.S. are safe and can be trusted. After all, the U.S. does not require supplements to have FDA approval. Scary right? To avoid buying an unsafe supplement, it’s important to pick a supplement that is third-party tested. This is when an accredited laboratory tests to see that your supplements have the right contents and dosages of what the package says you’re buying and consuming. [1,3]
It’s also extremely important to know what you are already getting from your diet. It can be dangerous, or even toxic, to consume too much of one mineral or vitamin. For instance, ingesting too much selenium can lead to a host of negative side effects like skin lesions, hair or nail loss, excessive tiredness, and nervous system malfunctions. The safest way to guarantee that you are ingesting a healthy amount of a supplement is to discuss it with your doctor and to ensure all your numbers are within a healthy range by having a blood panel done before and after you start taking a new supplement. Also, it is pivotal to remember that everyone’s bodies are different. A supplement that might really work for you might not be as life-changing for someone else. [1,2]
With all this being said, vitamin E, Bacopa monnieri, B-12, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids are just a few common supplements that are affiliated with potentially increased brain function. [1,2]
It is extremely important to talk to your doctor first before introducing any new, unfamiliar supplements into your diet.
1.HealthReview. (2022, January 21). 2022 Health guides. Health Review.
2. NIH. (2020, November). Dietary supplements and cognitive function, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease: What the science says. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
3. Lauren Ann, M.S. (2021, July 12). Top rated cognitive enhancing supplements of 2021. Consumer Health Digest.
Author: Katrina Peavy
Editor: Lauryn Agron
Health Scientist: Hira Mughal