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Five supplements you should start taking to improve your cognitive health

As we get older we need to start to think about our cognitive health more and more, not just to look after our mental health but also to prevent cognitive decline.

Supplements are often a good option, and are often suggested by professionals who are aiding people back to cognitive health.

For example, those in an ABI rehabilitation home will be encouraged to take a range of different supplements to aid their recovery, while a GP will do the same for anyone deficient in certain areas.

Spoon with dietary supplements on vegetables background. Photo: istock
Spoon with dietary supplements on vegetables background. Photo: istock

That said, for anyone looking to maintain their cognitive health, there are many supplements that you can pick up from pharmacies, supermarkets and health shops like Holland & Barrett. But what exactly should you be adding to your basket?

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Found in a range of capsules, as well as fatty fish and chia seeds and walnuts, we’re recommended a dose of 1000mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) combined, with the benefits almost endless. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to enhance memory, as well as reducing inflammation on the brain and regulating mood.

Vitamin D

It’s never quite as sunny as we want it to be in the UK and experts suggest that come February, our vitamin D stores are depleted. Many people across the country have insufficient levels of vitamin D, and while it can be found in the likes of egg yolks, fish and of course from the sun, there are many over the counter supplements you can take.

Vitamin D has neuroprotective properties that can help support the growth of new neural connections, while also reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

As you’ve probably experienced, vitamin D also plays a significant role in mood regulation. Speak with a healthcare professional to determine the right levels for you.

B Vitamins

Many people take doses of B vitamins to complement their dietary intake, with B6, B9 and B12 all crucial for brain health. They play a large role in energy production, the formation of neurotransmitters and the maintenance of myelin, which insulates nerve fibres.

You can get these vitamins from the likes of meat, fish and dairy products to name a few, but you’ll also find capsules too.

Ginkgo Biloba

This herbal supplement comes from the leaves of the Ginkgo tree and has actually been used for centuries to improve cognitive function and improve memory.

It’s proven to improve blood flow to the brain, while also carrying antioxidant properties. You can find it in a range of forms, from liquid extracts to tablets and capsules, with a recommended dosage of 120-240 mg per day.


Finally, we’re probably all aware of turmeric as a spice, commonly used in Indian food. However, you may not be aware of the curcumin compound found in it which is hugely powerful. It has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which is really beneficial for our brain health.

It’s recommended to take a dose of 500-2000 mg per day, and can be added to food or taken as capsules or in tea.

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