Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Do you ever feel like you can’t focus on anything? Are you struggling to remember things that happened just a few minutes ago? If so, you might be experiencing brain fog.

Brain fog is a condition that affects many people and can make everyday tasks very difficult. So, looking for the best supplement for brain fog is understandably one of the common things that people do nowadays. 

Luckily, there are many brain health supplements out there that can help improve cognitive health and reduce the symptoms of brain fog.

In this article, we will discuss nine different supplements that may help improve your mental clarity and overall brain function.

Let’s get started.

What is brain fog, exactly?

Brain fog is a condition that is characterized by difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering things. People with brain fog often feel like they are in a mental haze and can’t think clearly.

The symptoms of brain fog can vary from person to person. For some people, brain fog may only cause mild problems. But for others, it can be a debilitating condition that makes everyday tasks very difficult.

This mild cognitive impairment often lasts for a few days to a couple of weeks, but most often than not, it could also linger for months, becoming a debilitating cognitive dysfunction.

Common Causes

There are many different factors that can contribute to brain fog. Some of the most common include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation
  • Sleep disorders
  • Poor diet
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of exercise
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Chronic illnesses (e.g., chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus)
  • Cognitive disorders

Other Common Symptoms

In addition to difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering things, people with brain fog often experience other symptoms as well. These can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Slower thinking
  • Problems with attention
  • Troubles with decision-making
  • Difficulty with problem-solving

If you are experiencing brain fog, it is essential to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Once any serious conditions have been ruled out, you can start exploring different brain supplements that may help improve your brain health.

What is the best supplement for brain fog?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best supplement for brain fog will vary depending on the person and the underlying causes of their condition.

That being said, there are many different supplements that have been shown to improve brain health and reduce the symptoms of brain fog.

Below, we will discuss nine of the best supplements for brain fog and vitamins for memory.

1) Vitamin A Acetate

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for many different functions in the body. It plays a role in vision, reproduction, and immune system function.

Vitamin A acetate is the active form of vitamin A and is often used as a supplement. These supplements are usually taken orally, but they can also be injected.

Vitamin A acetate has been shown to improve vision, but it is also thought to play a role in cognitive function.

A recent study in rats found that vitamin A acetate improved memory and learning. The study authors suggest that this vitamin may help improve cognitive function by protecting the brain from oxidative stress.

Vitamin A acetate is also thought to have anti-inflammatory effects. This may be beneficial for people with brain fog who also have inflammation.

Vitamin A supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a vitamin A supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 2500-5000 IU per day

2) Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex refers to a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in many different functions in the body. These vitamins include:

  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Folic acid (B9)
  • Cyanocobalamin (B12)

Each of these vitamins has unique functions, but they are all important for brain health.

Vitamin B complex supplements are often used to treat or prevent deficiencies of these vitamins. However, they are also thought to improve brain health.

One study found that taking a vitamin B complex supplement improved mental performance in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study found that taking a vitamin B12 supplement improved memory and thinking in people with mild cognitive impairment.

Vitamin B complex supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea and diarrhea. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a vitamin B complex supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 50-100 mg per day

3) Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is best known for its role in immune system function.

Vitamin C is also thought to play a role in cognitive function.

One study found that taking a vitamin C supplement improved memory and thinking in people with mild cognitive impairment. 

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. This means that it helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Vitamin C supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a vitamin C supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 500-1000 mg per day

4) Curcumin

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. It is a yellow pigment that has been used for centuries in Asian countries for its medicinal properties.

Curcumin is best known for its anti-inflammatory effects. This may be beneficial for people with brain fog who also have inflammation.

Curcumin is also an antioxidant and has been shown to improve memory and thinking in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Curcumin supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a curcumin supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 400-600 mg per day

5) CDP-Choline

CDP-choline is a compound that is made up of choline and cytidine.

Choline is an essential nutrient that is found in many foods, including eggs, meat, and dairy products.

Cytidine is a nucleotide that plays an important role in the synthesis of RNA and DNA.

CDP-choline is thought to be beneficial for brain health because it increases levels of acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in memory, learning, and other cognitive functions.

CDP-choline has been shown to improve memory and thinking in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

CDP-choline supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and headache. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a CDP-choline supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 250-500 mg per day

6) Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in food and made by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin D is best known for its role in bone health.

Recent research has shown that vitamin D may also be beneficial for brain health.

One study found that people with Alzheimer’s disease who took a vitamin D supplement had improved cognitive function.

Vitamin D is also thought to play a role in preventing depression.

Vitamin D supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea and vomiting. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a vitamin D supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 600-800 IU per day

7) Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with a variety of forms, although alpha-tocopherol is the only one that a human body requires.

It is used as a supplement to maintain healthy joints, reducing inflammation and oxidative damage. Its primary function is to act as an antioxidant, removing loose electrons—so-called “free radicals”—that may harm cells.

According to studies, high plasma vitamin E levels were linked to better cognitive performance on several occasions.

Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties have been investigated in clinical trials on both aged people and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients, with the goal of preventing or delaying cognitive decline. 

Vitamin E is generally considered safe, but it can cause side effects like nausea, fatigue, and blurred vision. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a vitamin E supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 15-30 mg per day.

8) Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is found in many foods, including leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds. 

It is also found in supplements, such as magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate. 

Magnesium is best known for its role in bone health.

Studies suggest that magnesium is beneficial for the central nervous system because it plays a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

Magnesium supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking a magnesium supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 350-500 mg per day

9) Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-three fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

They are also found in supplements, such as fish oil capsules.

Omega-three fatty acids are best known for their anti-inflammatory effects. 

Studies suggest that they may also be beneficial for brain health because they play a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and help to protect the brain from damage.

Omega-three fatty acid supplements are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and fishy breath. These side effects are more common when higher doses are taken.

If you are considering taking an omega-three fatty acid supplement, it is best to speak to a doctor first.

Recommended dose: 1000 mg per day

Can I combine supplements?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

It is best to speak to a doctor before combining supplements, as they may interact with each other or with medications you are taking if there are any.

For example, taking omega-three fatty acids and blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) may increase the risk of bleeding.

The Bottom Line

Brain fog can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially if it lingers for months on end, taking over your life.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to fight brain fog and improve your overall cognitive function, such as getting enough sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and supplementing.

There are a number of supplements that are believed to be beneficial for brain health.

But before taking any supplement or vitamin for brain fog, it is best to speak to a doctor first, as they may interact with each other or with the medications or supplements that you are taking.

If you want to learn more about treating brain fog and how to enhance your brain function, we have plenty of resources on the topic

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