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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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