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Image: 14 supplements to give your brain a much-needed edge

(Natural News) With the right supplements, you can boost your mental performance. However, it can be a challenge to choose the right one(s) for you because there are hundreds of supplements to choose from. Here are 14 of the best brain-boosting supplements you can try.

#1 Acetyl-L-carnitine

This amino acid is great for boosting mental and physical energy. It serves as a potent antioxidant and a precursor of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter of memory and learning. Moreover, it is a fast-acting and effective antidepressant as it increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine – neurotransmitters that contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. It’s also good to take acetyl-L-carnitine for improving mental clarity, mood, focus, processing speed, and memory.

#2 American ginseng

If you’re looking for a supplement for anxiety, choose American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) over Asian ginseng, as the former is less stimulating. It also acts as an adaptogen, improving physical and mental health while reducing the damaging effects of stress.

#3 Alpha-GPC

Alpha-GPC (alpha-glycerophosphocholine) is a form of choline, an essential nutrient for brain development, healthy brain cells, and neurotransmitter formation. It is a great supplement for enhancing memory. Like acetyl-L-carnitine, it is also a precursor of acetylcholine. It also increases the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is associated with relaxation.

#4 Bacopa

A traditional Ayurvedic herbal remedy, bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is used as a nerve and brain tonic for enhancing memory, learning, and concentration. It is also an adaptogen, which means it can reduce stress and boost energy without sedating or stimulating effects. It is a great choice if you are looking for a natural brain-boosting supplement that also relieves stress, anxiety, or depression.

#5 Citicoline

Citicoline, a compound that naturally occurs in every cell of the body, is a potent brain protector. Although not widely known, it is one of the best brain boosters available. It helps build healthy brain cell membranes, improve blood flow to the brain, and increases brain plasticity – the brain’s ability to change throughout your lifetime. Additionally, citicoline boosts brain energy and reduces the harmful effects of free radical damage and inflammation – two main causes of brain aging. It also increases acetylcholine and dopamine levels. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter involved in memory and learning, while dopamine is linked to motivation, mood, productivity, and the pleasure-reward system. Overall, taking citicoline supplements can greatly improve your attention, concentration, focus, and memory.

#6 Curcumin

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in the popular spice, turmeric. Taking curcumin can increase your levels of dopamine and serotonin, or the “happy chemical.” Curcumin is as effective for depression as Prozac, a widely used antidepressant drug, and as effective as physical exercise for increasing blood flow to the brain.

Additionally, curcumin is also beneficial to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder and its associated memory loss. It also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce brain inflammation and remove brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

#7 DHA

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays a role in keeping the healthy structure and function of your brain. Taking DHA supplements has been shown to improve thinking skills, memory skills, and reaction times. It also helps prevent and improve Alzheimer’s disease.

#8 Ginkgo

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is a popular traditional medicine that is believed to work by increasing blood flow to the brain and is said to improve focus and memory. It may also fight against age-related cognitive decline.

#9 Huperzine A

Huperzine A is the main active compound in Chinese club moss (Huperzia serrata), a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine for improving memory and circulation and reducing inflammation. It works by increasing acetylcholine levels and inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that deactivates acetylcholine. It also protects against free radical damage and environmental toxins, while supporting new brain cell generation.

#10 Lion’s mane

Also called yamabushitake, lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is an edible mushroom native to parts of Asia, Europe, and North America. While it is used for cooking and as medicine, it can also be used as a brain supplement. It is a popular nootropic, a substance that enhances memory, attention, concentration, motivation, and intelligence. At the same time, it makes your brain healthier. People with anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and depression may also benefit from this supplement.

#11 L-theanine

Found in black and green tea, L-theanine is an amino acid that increases the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. It improves memory, sharpens focus, reduces stress, and promotes a sense of overall well-being.

#12 Magnesium L-threonate

While there are many forms of magnesium available, only magnesium L-threonate readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Its ability to penetrate brain cell membranes and increase magnesium levels in the brain makes it a great supplement for enhancing attention, memory, anxiety, and depression.

#13 Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid naturally found in the brain. It is also a well-known brain supplement for improving cognition, concentration, learning, and memory. It works by supporting brain cell membrane integrity, keeping toxins and pathogens at bay. It also normalizes cortisol levels to reduce the effects of stress.

#14 Tryptophan

Like acetyl-L-carnitine, tryptophan is an essential amino acid that’s a precursor to serotonin. Taking tryptophan can help people suffering from general anxiety, social anxiety, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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