Mind & Body

5 Brain Boosters

Stress and age can lead to memory loss. Supplements and lifestyle changes give you a head start to a healthy mind.
5 Brain Boosters
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Coenzyme Q10
"Very important" is how Khalsa describes this energizing antioxidant. "It works on different areas of the brain and increases mental energy," he says. "It makes you more alert." According to Gonzalez, current studies are looking at whether high doses (up to 1,200 mg daily) can help patients with early-stage Parkinson's disease, a degenerative condition in which impaired delivery of dopamine in the brain affects movement. Khalsa cites an earlier study that found some benefit at doses of 1,200 mg daily, especially when combined with at least 100 mg of alphalipoic acid, a cell nutrient.

How to Use It: For better energy and prevention of cognitive decline, Khalsa suggests taking 100 to 300 mg per day; you should triple that dosage if memory loss has already occurred. Patients taking statins should supplement, he adds, since the drugs deplete the body's store of coenzyme Q10.

Sage Oil
Oil from Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulifolia) has been shown to decrease the activity of the acetylcholine-destroying enzyme. An Iranian investigation found that patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's showed significant improvement in cognitive symptoms when given 60 drops of common sage extract (Salvia officinalis) daily. Sage also contains a number of antioxidants.

How to Use It: James J. Gormley, co-author of User's Guide to Brain-Boosting Supplements, recommends 2.5 to 7.5 grams per day of sage tincture, or 1.5 to 3 grams of liquid extract. "Keep in mind that 1 teaspoon of sage in food is about 1.5 grams," he notes.