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Huperzine A improved cognition

In this study, 78 people with vascular dementia, a type of impairment from reduced blood supply to the brain, took 100 mcg of huperzine A, or a placebo containing 100 mg of vitamin C, twice per day. After 12 weeks, while the placebo group had not improved, the huperzine A group performed better in mental tests, had improved ratings for clinical dementia, and better quality of daily living activities. Huperzine A is a naturally occurring compound from the Chinese club moss, used in China as a traditional medicine.


Phospholipids improved memory

Under sudden stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol to give a quick burst of energy, sharpen memory, and decrease sensitivity to pain. But when stress is chronic, cortisol can have negative effects, including impaired memory. Doctors believe phospholipids help the body adapt to stress.

In this study, 75 chronically stressed men, aged 30 to 51, drank cow’s milk with 0.5 percent or 1.0 percent phospholipids per day, or a placebo. After six weeks, while there was no difference between any of the groups in response to acute stress, men over age 41 in the high-dose¬†phospholipid group had better memory performance.

Reference: Nutrition Research; 2011, Vol. 31, No. 6, 413-20

From the March newsletter 2012

Van's Health on April - 16 - 2012
categories: Supplements

Antioxidants improve memory

In this long-term study, 4,447 healthy French men and women, aged 45 to 60, took a daily combination of antioxidants, or a placebo, for nine years. The antioxidant supplement contained 120 mg vitamin C, 6 mg beta-carotene equal to 10,000 IU pro-vitamin A, 45 IU vitamin E, 100 mcg selenium, and 20 mg zinc. Five years later, researchers measured cognitive performance in six memory and decision-making tasks.

Overall compared to placebo, the antioxidant group had better cognitive function, including 39 percent better long-term memory. In a subgroup of non-smokers, those who took antioxidants had 33 percent better word recall than placebo, and among those who began the study with low levels of vitamin C, word-recall improved seven-fold.

Omega-3 preserves cognitive function

Researchers said this is the first study to report lower chances of cognitive decline in those who took omega-3 supplements. At the start of the study, doctors measured the diets and cognitive performance in 1,475 adults without dementia, aged at least 55. Doctors tested again 1.5 years later and found those who took omega-3 fish oil supplements were 63 percent less likely to show signs of cognitive decline.

Summarizing their findings, study authors said the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may lower chances of cardiovascular disease, improve cerebral blood flow, decrease inflammation, and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, all of which may help reduce the rate of cognitive decline.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2011, Vol. 94, No. 3, 892-9

From the December 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on January - 13 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins