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Mind and Memory

 – Our minds have an amazing capacity to retain data and record events. Memory is our ability to recall the knowledge that we've learned and to relive the experiences that we've had. The human brain develops until a person's mid-20s, and after that time, growth and development largely ceases. Some people find that as they age, their memory becomes fuzzy, leading to absentmindedness, forgetfulness and difficulty learning new facts. When this occurs, improved nutrition can sometimes lead to an improvement in the ability to recall and retain.
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Forgetfulness can greatly impact a person's daily life, causing them to misplace objects, fail to arrive for events and appointments and can impair their ability to recall faces. Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other institutions and foundations have found that, often, nutritional deficiencies play a role in memory loss. Specifically, a lack of vitamin B12 or iron is known to contribute to forgetfulness. As a result, many supplement products contain one or both of these vital nutrients for brain health.

In some cases, memory loss is severe and related to an underlying medical condition like Alzheimer's or dementia. The risk of developing these conditions increases sharply as people age. This is largely due to oxidative stress, the term given to cellular damage caused by environmental free radicals. Oxidative stress begins at birth and gradually affects the brain and the rest of the body; however, nutrients called antioxidants help to counteract the effects of free radicals.

Some studies, including one published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1998, have found that supplementing antioxidants like vitamin E can lead to an improvement in memory function in Alzheimer's patients. While these products cannot cure Alzheimer's, it is thought they have the potential to temporarily alleviate some of its symptoms for some people. Because other studies have produced mixed results, more research is needed to identify the role of vitamin E, if any, in the prevention and treatment of cognitive impairments.

For centuries, ginkgo biloba has been used as a natural remedy for forgetfulness. The effects of this herb are now being studied extensively to see if there is a connection between supplementation with ginkgo and memory. While more research is needed, The Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found Ginkgo Biloba to be ineffective in reducing the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in older persons.

drugstore.com carries a wide selection of mind and memory vitamins designed to promote a healthier brain and improved memory function. Start shopping our collection now to find the right product for your needs. If you're unsure which supplement is best for you, consult your doctor for advice. Together, you can determine which of our many products for the mind and memory is most likely to help with your symptoms.

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