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Summary of Memory
Memory is the ability of the brain to store and recall information. It's so integral to the ability to learn skills, form and develop relationships, and make decisions that it garners a considerable amount of attention in science and from consumers of health products. Perhaps the most critical memory-related issue today is neurodegeneration. As the average lifespan of people has increased, it has become more common to develop neurodegenerative diseases, the most common being Alzheimer's, which negatively impacts memory, among other mental faculties. There are many hypotheses as to its causes, and it remains controversial, but it's clear that damaged and dysfunctional brain cells due to aging are at play.
Even without a full-blown disease, a gradual decline of memory with age is typical, and a vast array of "nootropics" (substances intended to promote cognitive function) have become available to meet the demand for better memory. Even young people, with no apparent decline in memory, seek to enhance their minds through supplementation. This page deals with three instances: in diseases, normal cognitive decline due to aging, and those with normal memory.
Memory is naturally tied to many of the other psychological and physiological phenomena. Anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue, and sleep quality all have an effect on memory. Mitochondrial and metabolic health are also at play because sluggish energy transport and metabolism will likely reduce the brain's processing speed. For that reason, it's essential to be clear about the study population, because the effects of many supplements may only be relevant to people with some health issues, and may not necessarily translate to others.
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Human Effect Matrix
The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect memory.
|Grade||Level of Evidence [show legend]|
|Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials|
|Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled|
|Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies|
|Uncontrolled or observational studies only|
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
|Minor||High See all 12 studies|
|Notable||High See all 8 studies|
|Minor||High See all 3 studies|
Get access to the latest nutrition research summarized
By becoming an Examine Plus member, you'll have access to all of the latest nutrition research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.