6

Some people claim that taking vitamin can improve your memory.

For example, Memory Improvement Tips:

Everyone has heard there are vitamins and supplements that can improve your memory and other brain functions. Research indicates this may be true.

It goes on to list three:

B VITAMINS. Research shows that B vitamins improve memory by creating a protective shield for the neurons in the brain. [...]

ANTIOXIDANTS. Vitamins C, E, and beta carotene are antioxidants and are also important vitamins for memory. [...] Antioxidant vitamins and memory are linked because the damage free radicals do can impare the functioning of the neurons in your brain. [...]

OMEGA FATTY ACIDS. Omega-3 fatty acids are not really "vitamins" as such, but important fat molecules that enhance memory and brain function.

Are there vitamins that help improve memory?

  • @Johnny: Are you satisfied by my edits? – Oddthinking Feb 19 '14 at 20:46
4

Short answer: Lots of research. Nothing of quality that supports vitamin supplements.

The question is rather broad. Studies tend to focus on particular drugs/drug combinations and/or particular classes of patients with memory problems (e.g. elderly, dementia sufferers, multiple sclerosis sufferers, etc.)

Let's go through a few drugs where there have been high-quality Cochrane Reviews of the available evidence.

Vitamins B6

Vitamins B9 and B12

Vitamin E

Omega-3

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Anti-Dementia Drugs for Non-Dementia Patients

Carbohydrates

Iron

Procaine

DHEA

CDP-choline

Any Drugs

0

Some people would be correct to observe that good nutrition in general will prevent memory loss.

There are particular circumstances, such as in alcoholism, where the person can benefit from strong B vitamin and especially B1 can improve memory: Here.

B12 keeps the brain and nervous system healthy.

Auto-immune conditions such as pernicious anemia can cause B12 deficiency, which in turn causes lethargy and tiredness. Here.

Also, in people in good health otherwise, those who take acid supressors for 2 years or more stand a chance of developing B12 deficiency. Here.

Currently no particular vitamin is associated with Ginkgo Biloba, but as has been noted above, Ginkgo Biloba may produce some measurable benefits in some subsets of people tested, but are not considered generally successful.: Here. (same reference as Guru42's answer, just read a little more of the article and you'll see it's benefits are not considered of great significance.)

I am unable to find any reputable article which demonstrates that vitamin supplements are of any benefit to the memory of (ie. enhance the memory of) people who otherwise lie within the normal range of health.

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I've heard for years that Ginkgo Biloba was good for memory. I take it along with the multivitamin. It doesn't cost much. My family doctor said it has no negative side effects.

Wedmd says... "Some studies have found that in healthy people, ginkgo might modestly boost memory and cognitive speed. Other studies have not found a benefit. ... Several ginkgo studies have shown that it can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. "

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-ginkgo-biloba

  • 1
    Ginkgo Biloba is a herb not a vitamin. – rjzii Feb 21 '14 at 13:24
  • This is a secondary source. It would be good to hear which studies found and didn't find a benefit. – Oddthinking Feb 21 '14 at 13:41

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