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Supps better than sudoku for aging brain?

Psychology Today recaps recent studies suggesting the power of dietary supplements to keep aging brains healthy.

Can supplements help you stop calling your kids by the wrong name and find your keys? Perhaps, suggests research discussed online at In an article called “Feed Your Brain: How to feed your brain for better focus, attention, concentration and memory,” author Perry Renshaw, MD, Ph.D. recaps recent studies that support the power of supplements to help keep aging brains from going mushy.

Renshaw, professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Director of the Magnetic Resonance Laboratory at the Brain Institute at the University of Utah, writes that "today, accumulating evidence suggests that not only better overall nutrition, but also supplementation with several key nutrients may help stave off the reduced efficiency of brain cells that occurs with aging."

"Studies suggest that a healthy diet plus supplements may help maintain cognitive function," writes Renshaw, calling attention to four supplements in particular:

• Citicoline. Supplementation with citicoline raises brain levels of acetylcholine and supports memory and mental performance. Some studies have shown that it's also able to reverse age-related changes in people with mild memory problems. Citicoline ups the amount of phospholipids (specialized fats) in brain cell membranes and helps protect them against oxidative damage, this helps keep brain cells, over time, from disappearing into abyss where many boomers lose things like the title of their college thesis and what happened in the 80s.

• CoQ10. Powerful antioxidant coenzyme Q10 is found in almost every cell in the body, and is a powerful antioxidant. Some researchers believe that CoQ10 may also help with heart-related conditions, because it can improve energy production in cells and prevent clot formation.

• Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo leaf extracts have been shown to protect neurons from oxidative damage potentially preventing the progression of tissue degeneration in patients with dementia.

• Magnesium. Various parts of the brain associated with learning and memory experienced significant improvements in synaptic function after being supplemented with dietary magnesium.

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