When you think of your memory, you may believe that there’s only one type. The truth is, our memory is very complex. Our working memory helps us store and manipulate information short-term. However, when focusing on long-term memory, this requires semi-permanent connections to be made.
There are many factors that affect our ability to make long-term memories. Our age, diet, and drugs, all influence of brain’s ability to retain information and prevent decay. If you are looking to protect your memory, there are supplements that you can easily incorporate into your regular routine.
How Long-Term Memories are Made
Our memories are processed, through long-term potentiation. What exactly is long-term potentiation? Well, it is our brain’s ability to process permanent memories, which are stored long-term. The establishment of long-term memories, occurs when a physical changes are made to your neurons.
Whenever you learn something new or process new information, neural circuits increase communication. Then, they’re either altered or strengthened. Through various neurotransmitters, communication is also strengthened, resulting in reinforcement.
Glutamate is a prime example, as it helps to solidify connections that are made between neurons. When comparing short and long-term memory, long-term memories are more permanent and stable. They will continue to maintain strong, until its connection is weakened, or replaced by a new memory.
Improving Your Long-Term Memory
Whenever focusing on memory, your brain’s plasticity plays a major role. This is how malleable your brain is, reacting to changes throughout your life time. We once believed that new neurons could not grow or develop, but we now know that this isn’t the case. While focusing on new connections, acetylcholine plays an essential role.
Acetylcholine influences many processes within our brain, especially in terms of our cognition. When you have a large abundance of this neuro-chemical, then you allow for faster growth of neural structures. This is why supplements that increase acetylcholine levels, help aid in long-term memory formation.
As we age, our brains change. We become less able to maintain balanced levels of both glutamate and acetylcholine. Since reactions can not occur as efficiently as they once did, decay begins to occur. As these changes continue, some individuals are diagnosed with various degenerative conditions, such s Alzheimer’s.
Since supplements that protect long-term memory focuses on protecting your brain, they’re also considered to be neuroprotective. By taking these types of supplements, you improve your current memory, while protecting your brain from future decay.
This is why omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, seeds, and nuts), are recommended for brain health. They help fight oxidative damage, protecting your brain cells. When you maintain the health of your cells, you can reduce your risk of age-related decline.
Boosting Your Long-Term Memory Through Nootropics
Years ago, it may have seemed like science fiction. Now, we can enhance our cognitive abilities naturally and safely. While focusing on your brain’s plasticity, there are multiple nootropic options available. They help to enhance memory, while protecting your overall brain health.
Racetams were the first to become popular, as they aid in a number of cognitive processes. By increasing acetylcholine, you experience higher levels of concentration, mental energy, neuroprotecive properties, and improved memory. When supplements such as Piracetam are taken, you create ideal conditions for long-term memory formation.
Within the nootropic community, it is not uncommon to stack various supplements. This helps to enhance the overall effects, creating even more cognitive and health benefits. While focusing on long-term memory, there are multiple options.
The most popular product on the market is known as CILTEP, which stands for chemically induced long-term potentiation. It combines a number of nootropics, including Forskolin as one of its herbal remedies. When you consume this supplement, cAMP levels increase.
CAMP helps strengthen the connections between neurons (synapses). Since CILTEP also contains Acetyl L-Carnitine, it helps increase acetylcholine levels. In order to promote cell metabolism, vitamin B6 has been added. It’s a well rounded product, that encourages more effective long-term memory formation and recall.
Vitamins and Other Supplements Which Aid in Long-Term Memory
Above, we briefly discussed some of the options available for long-term memory. Let’s take a closer look at some of the vitamin and mineral supplements, which can help you improve memory. These vitamins will also target others areas of your body and mind, yielding multiple positive effects.
The B-complex vitamins are very important for optimal brain function and health. For years, researchers have been studying the connection between vitamin B12 and memory. This deficiency is most commonly seen within the elderly population, as well as the vegetarian/vegan population.
Those that are taking the diabetic medication known as metformin, may also suffer from low levels of B12. If you pay attention to your diet, incorporating foods that are rich in vitamin B12, you should not have any issues.
Consume more fish and meat, as these are the highest sources. Opt for leaner choices, reducing your consumption of red meat. If you’re vegetarian, there are some great fortified cereals, which provide you with vitamin B12. Not only have low vitamin B12 levels been linked to poor memory, but high levels of fatigue and weakness as well.
Magnesium has been studied extensively for the past decade. It is now being studied in human trails, after it yielded positive results within multiple mice and rat studies. For instance, in 2004, magnesium was shown to produce synaptic changes within mice, boosting their memory.
In 2010, magnesium helped rats improved both their short and long-term memory. While looking at humans, there have already been some positive results recorded. When given to older patients, magnesium supplements were shown to reduce stress hormones and promote sleep. Approximately 100,000 Americans are currently taking this supplement.
Choline supplementation has various positive effects on our mental and physical health. When focusing on consumption of choline, it may improve long-term memory (as seen in recent research). The first experiment shows that maternal consumption of choline, boosted long-term memory within offspring.
When focusing on the adult population, choline supplements have been shown to increase one’s attention-holding capacity. Although these results are related to rat subjects, it provides promising potential for human subjects. Choline is already an important compound, as it is grouped with the B-complex vitamins.