The 7 Best Neuroprotective Supplements: Level Up Your Brain and Fight Mental Decline

If you’ve found this guide (after searching for your phone for 10 minutes…it was in your hand *shakes head*), then you’re looking for brain health supplements to reverse cognitive decline, stay sharp, and start remembering where you put your car keys every morning (NEWS FLASH: You sold your car in 2016).

These 7 supplements are EXACTLY what you’ve been looking for. Cognitive decline is not inevitable. These neuroprotective supplements have proven to help minimize the impacts of degeneration, encourage neuroplasticity, and promote healthy weight, blood flow, and focus!

Ginkgo Biloba - Boost Your Brain and Regulate Blood Flow ginkgo biloba for neuroprotective benefits

The leaves of the gingko biloba tree have been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. This top-selling brain health supplement might hold the key to fighting off age-related decline and keeping you sharp by enriching your aging brain with extra blood.

As you age, your brain becomes a lot like an old vampire with dull fangs: It needs blood to continue living its lonely, cursed existence (damn you, Van Helsing!), but it doesn’t have the means to get it anymore.

When you’re young, your youthful veins flood your Dracula-brain with blood, keeping you sharp, focused, and able to remember your anniversary. But as you age, blood supply to the brain decreases, making it hard for you to remember where you put your car keys. It can even lead to stroke [1].

Gingko biloba (GB) is believed to promote healthy blood flow and long-term brain health. When you have better blood flow to the brain, you maintain a quicker memory, better brain power, and sharper focus.

Can gingko really protect my bloodthirsty brain from decline?

The mechanism by which GB protects your brain is still unclear, but the results are clear as day:

In one study, 404 patients with were given 240 mg of gingko biloba extract. The extract resulted in improvements in cognitive function, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and functional abilities [2].

In another study, GB proved just as effective as donepezil (a popular drug for dementia symptoms). The study even concluded that a combo therapy of both GB and donepezil resulted in fewer side effects [3].

How to Take Ginkgo Biloba: There’s no standard dosage, but studies tend to use between 120 mg - 600 mg. Start low and gradually increase.

CDP Choline (Citicoline) - The Ultimate Memory Booster

cdp choline - best memory booster supplement 

If your go-to greeting at the office is “hey…you,” CDP choline could help you repair your memory and connect names with faces better.

Your memory issues could be due to low acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter responsible for encoding memories [4]. As a neuroprotector, CDP choline is the direct precursor to acetylcholine as well as a key component in improved mitochondrial function [5]. Giving your body the vital nutrients it needs to produce more memory-encoding ACh could lead to better facial recognition, clearer memories, and even better mood.

ACh helps the brain retain its neuroplasticity (ability to connect and reorganize synapses), and supplementation of CDP-choline has been directly linked to improved memory [6] and even improved learning [7].

Bonus: CDP-choline’s neuroplasticity benefits go beyond memory. Take it to improve focus [8], too!

How to Take CDP-Choline: Take between 500-2,000 mg daily in 2 doses.

Memory Hack: Looking for the ultimate memory boost? Stack uridine, DHA, and CDP-choline together to encourage synergetic synaptogenesis [9].

Did You Know?: Your neocortex (the part of your brain concerned with sight and hearing) contains roughly 20 billion neurons. And each neocortical neuron has about 7,000 synaptic connections [10]!

Bacopa Monnieri - Powerful Antioxidant Benefits (Fight Physical and Mental Decline)

If you routinely say things like “struggling to put food on my family,” or if it takes you 3 tries to get your kids’ names right when you yell at them, your brain might be succumbing to damage from free radicals (oxidative stress). Oxidative stress causes damage to cells and is linked to everything from poor memory to degenerative diseases [11].

Bacopa monnieri, a traditional Ayurvedic herb, is one of the safest and most powerful antioxidants (meaning it protects from oxidative damage). That means fewer free radicals gallivanting around your cells causing a ruckus, which in turn, keeps your brain younger, sharper, and more powerful.

Oh yeah, remember that choline stuff we were talking about before (if not, we highly suggest CDP-choline supplements)? There’s evidence directly linking bacopa monnieri to enhanced cholinergic function in the brain [12]. And enhanced cholinergic function could lead to enhanced memory, attention, focus, and memory (did we say that already?).

How to Take Bacopa Monnieri: Up to 1,500 mg of powder or leaf or 300 mg of supplements. NOTE: It takes time to work (8-12 weeks).

Acetyl L-Carnitine - Work Out Your Body and Mind

Acetyl L-Carnitine - fitness and neuroprotection

What’s better than a ripped core?

How about a ripped CORETEX?

Acetyl L-Carnitine is the best brain supplement if you want to burn that pinchable flub and stay focused, sharp, and alert while doing it.

Its name literally means “flesh.” That’s badass enough earn a spot here, but the way it energizes your cells, protects your brain from oxidative damage, and attenuates the decline in ATP (the energy “currency” of all living things) means it has major benefits for you at the gym, the office, and home [13].

Acetyl L-Carnitine protects your brain with a flesh-forged trident: It regulates the production of acetylcholine (can you still recall that?), invigorates the energy powerhouses of your cells, and defends against cell death [14]. That means you encourage neuroplasticity, build bigger muscles while losing fat [15], and maintain a healthy level of brain cells as you age.

How to Take Acetyl L-Carnitine: Standard dosage is between 500 - 2000 mg. Again, start slow!

Disclaimer: You can’t just sit around and expect to lose weight. ACL makes it easier, not a given.

Panax Ginseng - Mood Stabilizer and Stress Fighter

ginseng for mood and stress

“I’m a creep. I’m a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.” - You, sitting silently, face burning red as normal people talk to each other in public

Panax ginseng, known as “true ginseng,” could be the neuroprotective brain supplement that creeps and weirdos everywhere need to function like normal, happy people.

In all seriousness, anxiety is no joke. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the USA [16] and signs show it’s on the rise across all age groups [17].

How Does Panax Improve Mood and Stress Response?

Ginseng is a plant that’s been used as a natural immune booster, mood stabilizer, and brain enhancer since ancient times. Essentially, it regulates your immune and stress response to stress factors, helping you maintain homeostasis [18].

    When you’re exposed to stress factors (work, study, traffic, or making eye contact with someone in the hall and revisiting your decision for years), your body secretes hormones that basically make you go ARGHHHHHHH!!!. Chronic exposure can lead to debilitating anxiety and disease. P. ginseng could help you manage these hormones better, and with fewer stress hormones, you’ll feel better, stop overthinking, and be calmer.

    As a neuroprotector, its antioxidative properties help fight oxidative stress, the key factor in neurodegeneration.

    What Does Science Say?

    Panax is by far the most proven of the “adaptogens” (brain-enhancing supplements). Neither of us have the time to cover everything. But check out the amazing results of Panax in controlled studies:

  1. Social function: 200 mg of ginseng improved quality of life and social function in just 2 months [19].
  2. Calmness: 400 mg of panax improved calmness in 30 young, male volunteers [20].
  3. Well-Being: Post-menopausal women experienced “significant” improvements in well-being and reduced depression after treatment with ginseng [21].
  4. Cognitive Decline: 9 g per day over 12 weeks significantly improved the cognitive functions of patients with dementia conditions [22].

  5. VitaMonk Biohack: Panax is an antioxidant and nootropic, but it moonlights as a libido enhancer [23] and muscle recovery supplement [24]. Take it to boost your pump in the gym and your, well, you get where we’re going with that.

    How to Take Panax Ginseng: Dosage for general health is around 200 - 400 mg daily. Ginseng is also delicious and can be taken in tea form.

    Vitamin B12 - Come On, It’s Vitamin B12!

    “Depression, dementia, and mental impairments are often associated with vitamin B12 and folate deficiency” - Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in the Elderly: Review and Case Report Susan Hanna, MD et. al. [25]

    Good news, now you’ve got something to shove in the face of all those annoying vegans on Facebook. It’s time to break out the grill and start tearing flesh with your teeth.

    If your go-to greeting at the office is “hey…you” (wait, have we used this one already? Where are we?), it could be due to lack of B vitamins, including B12. Low levels of B12 are associated with neurodegenerative disease and cognitive impairment [26]. Your ability to absorb vitamins in general decreases as you age. Supplementation might be the answer to keeping enough vital vitamins in your system to combat memory loss, brain fog, and confusion.

    One fascinating study concluded that certain forms of dementia may even be reversible with B12 supplementation [27]. As much as we’d love to eat beef, tuna, sardines, and clams all day, getting all the B12 you need to stay sharp might not be possible from food alone.

    Dosage: This is a bit tricky, but supplementation tends to be about 1 mg daily. You should try to optimize your diet to include B12-rich foods like beef and seafood as well.

    Long-Term Protection vs. Quick Fix

    As much as we’d love to live a real-life version of Limitless (and get chased by Robert De Niro), there is no magic brain pill that gives you infinite cognition.

    Your brain is a miracle of creation. An organic quantum supercomputer. It’s so infinitely complex that it doesn’t even understand itself yet. You’re reading this due to a painstaking evolutionary process which began billions of years ago in the engines of supernovae. The very same process that has produced art and atomic theory, music and machine guns, mathematics and microchips, astrophysics and ABBA...

    You think picking a few herbs out of the ground in Korea and jamming them in your mouth is going to make you a genius for life? These are meant to optimize your long-term health, protect against neurodegeneration, and give you the tools you need to empower yourself to become a better you. Science has proven that it works, but you need to put in the effort.

    A good start is optimizing your intake with the right supplements for brain health in the optimal doses.

    VitaMonk’s Brain Health Stew

    Our team of doctors has discovered the optimal dosage to hit you right in the sweet spot: maximum effect with minimal side effects for the vast majority of people. No filler. No artificial anything. Just pure, brain-protecting deliciousness.

    • Ginkgo Biloba Extract (Leaf) (Contains 24% Ginkgo Flavones Glycosides) 120 mg
    • CDP Choline (Citicoline) 200 mg
    • Bacopa Extract (Bacopa monnieri) (Aerial parts) (Contains 20% Bacosides) 100 mg
    • Acetyl L-Carnitine 400 mg
    • Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract (Hericium erinaceus) 150 mg
    • Korean Ginseng Extract (Panax ginseng) (Root) (Contains 5% Ginsenosides) 100 mg
    • DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol bitartrate) 50 mg
    • Phosphatidylserine 300 mg
    • Huperzine-A 100 mcg
    • Vitamin B12 (as Hydroxocobalamin) 10 mcg

    Just one dose daily with a meal gives your brain everything it needs to boost mood, cognition, memory, and focus. If your go-to greeting at the office is “hey…you!” (seriously, where are we?), fight back against brain degeneration before it’s too late!

    References

      [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2596698/
      [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22086747
      [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19347685
      [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2659740/
      [5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8488757
      [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9203170
      [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1494300
      [8] https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=19921
      [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4011061/
      [10] https://n.neurology.org/content/64/12/2004
      [11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5448442/
      [12] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/606424/
      [13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16179519
      [14] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11064-017-2288-7
      [15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18545197
      [16] https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
      [17] https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/body-work/39-of-americans-more-anxious-today-than-time-last-year
      [18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628357/
      [19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11895046
      [20] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20737519
      [21] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10761538
      [22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18684311
      [23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141583
      [24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21598413
      [25] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781043/
      [26] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22221769
      [27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15681626/

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