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Despite the growing evidence against supplements making brain/ memory improvement claims, sales keep growing

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Why you shouldn’t both­er with mem­o­ry or brain health sup­ple­ments (Con­sumer Reports):

The signs of mem­o­ry loss can be bewil­der­ing and scary: mis­placed keys, a for­got­ten street name, that task you sud­den­ly can’t remem­ber. It’s no won­der that, accord­ing to the Nutri­tion Busi­ness Jour­nal, sales of sup­ple­ments tout­ed as mem­o­ry boost­ers near­ly dou­bled between 2006 and 2015.

But accord­ing to a review of stud­ies pub­lished in Decem­ber, there’s vir­tu­al­ly no good evi­dence that such prod­ucts can pre­vent or delay mem­o­ry laps­es, mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment or demen­tia in old­er adults … A 2017 Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Office report ana­lyzed hun­dreds of ads pro­mot­ing mem­o­ry-enhanc­ing sup­ple­ments online and iden­ti­fied 27 mak­ing what seemed to be ille­gal claims about treat­ing or pre­vent­ing dis­eases such as demen­tia.

But even legal claims that sug­gest sup­ple­ments will improve, boost or enhance your mem­o­ry “don’t have to have any data to jus­ti­fy them,” says Lon Schnei­der, a pro­fes­sor of psy­chi­a­try and the behav­ioral sci­ences at the Keck School of Med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. (“Dietary sup­ple­ments can­not cure, mit­i­gate, treat, or pre­vent Alzheimer’s, demen­tia, or any dis­ease,” said a state­ment from the Coun­cil on Respon­si­ble Nutri­tion, an indus­try group, respond­ing to the GAO report.)

Sup­ple­ments are also loose­ly reg­u­lat­ed, and some may even con­tain undis­closed ingre­di­ents or pre­scrip­tion drugs. Many inter­act (some­times dan­ger­ous­ly) with med­ica­tions: Gink­go bilo­ba, for exam­ple, should nev­er be paired with blood thin­ners, blood pres­sure meds or SSRI anti­depressants.”

News in Context

Ques­tion: Do “brain sup­ple­ments” work?

Answer: Unless direct­ed to address an iden­ti­fied defi­cien­cy, grow­ing evi­dence shows that sup­ple­ments do not seem to bring any sus­tained cog­ni­tive or brain ben­e­fits.

Keep read­ing 20 Must-Know Facts To Har­ness Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty And Improve Brain Health. To learn more:

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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