Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
August 25, 2021
Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

What are the Best Supplements for Brain Fog?

Brain fog is a condition that makes it hard to focus. It makes you confused and forgetful. This is why a lot of people often ask what vitamins are good for brain fog. 

There are some vitamins that help with brain fog and overall brain health. They include B-complex vitamins like Vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacinamide (B3), and pantothenic acid. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to be effective in the treatment of brain fog.

This article will tell you about some supplements that can help with brain fog. We will look at some research that says what they do.

What Does Research Say About Vitamins for Brain Fog?

Vitamins are important for your body and your brain health. They help make energy, DNA, and more. This leads to good things like thinking better and feeling less tired. Adding vitamins and minerals to your diet can play an essential role in energy production within cells. You can add vitamins through your diet or by taking supplements.

Here are the Best Vitamins to Fight Brain Fog

If you have been feeling sluggish lately or are experiencing brain fog, there are a few vitamins that may be able to help you. The following is a list of vitamins and their sources that may be able to help with brain fog.

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Studies have found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can help alleviate brain fog. This is one of the best ways for those who suffer from mental disorders to take care of their mood and cognitive health.

What do these fatty acids do? They have been shown to boost serotonin and dopamine levels which are often deficient in people with depression or ADHD. What’s more, these fatty acids are also natural mood stabilizers.

  1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a good vitamin for brain fog, by reducing inflammation in your brain. Vitamin E does this by lowering lipid peroxidation and inhibiting nitric oxide synthase.

As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps fight free radicals in the brain, which have been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

  1. Vitamin C and Folic Acid

Vitamin C is an antioxidation agent that provides a wide range of benefits for the human body. One of the lesser-known benefits of vitamin C is that it also helps your brain. Vitamin C becomes depleted in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and this leads to mental fog. What’s more, vitamin C has been found to improve cognitive function in those who are deficient in it.

Another vitamin that can help with mental clarity is folic acid. Folate is the natural form of B9, while folic acid is the synthetic form. It also helps to protect the brain from oxidative stress, which is vital for protecting neurons from damage. Folic acid is good for people who are at risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease because they have high levels of homocysteine in their blood.

Vitamin C and folic acid together can help people with chronic fatigue syndrome. It makes them feel better with their memory, attention span, and information processing speed.

  1. B Vitamins

B vitamins for cognitive health are important in brain fog. What many people don’t know is that a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to deficits in cognitive function and memory loss. All of the B vitamins except folate, are involved in one or more steps of the cell’s energy production. A shortage of any B vitamin will limit a cell’s energy production, which can be dangerous to your metabolism and overall health.

There are eight types of B vitamins:

  • thiamin (vitamin B1)
  • riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • niacin (vitamin B3)
  • pantothenic acid
  • vitamin B6
  • biotin (vitamin B7)
  • folate and folic acid
  • vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that helps brain function. It does this by stopping cells from dying off due to free radicals, which are made when oxygen and other substances combine.

  1. L-Theanine

L-Theanine has been shown to help with various disorders of the brain including ADHD, ADD, anxiety, and depression. What is interesting about L-Theanine, is that it not only acts as a calming agent but also has an energizing effect. What this means is that you can use the supplement to help with fatigue and mental clarity at the same time. It’s essentially like having your coffee without all of the caffeine!

  1. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is an herb that may help reduce the incidence of brain fog. It is thought to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties. This can help to prevent problems with blood flow in the brain. It is also thought to help improve cognitive performance and memory function, which can relieve some of the symptoms of brain fog.

The substance in ginkgo biloba responsible for many of its benefits is thought to be ginkgo flavone. It should contain a minimum concentration of 40% to be effective as a treatment for combating brain fog.

  1. Ginseng

Ginseng is an herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. It’s most recognized for its beneficial effects on sexual performance and vitality but it may also be effective for brain fog.

A study by the Cochrane Collaboration found that ginseng improved people’s mental function more than a sugar pill or placebo. Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to reduce symptoms such as impaired cognition and poor memory.

  1. Curcumin

Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. What makes curcumin so good for brain fog is that it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. What this means is that, not only does it help with inflammation in the body but it also helps reduce inflammation in the brain.

It has been shown in studies to be effective against things like Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Curcumin comes from the turmeric root. Curcumin can help improve a person’s cognitive function if they have early signs of either disease.

  1. CDP-Choline

CDP-Choline is one of the most effective ways to combat and prevent cognitive decline. This is a natural supplement that your body can use to make more acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an important chemical in the brain.This can help you think faster, remember things better, and have a sharper memory. CDP-Choline has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

  1. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a plant that grows in the cold climates of the world, including in Europe and North America. For centuries, people have used this plant as a way to treat depression, anxiety, and headaches.

Rhodiola Rosea is good for those with brain fog. One study of 122 people found that more than half of the participants reported a reduction in their symptoms. This was after taking 200 milligrams of Rhodiola Rosea daily.

Research shows that supplementing with Rhodiola Rosea can make you work for a longer time without getting tired. It may help with your mood and cognitive function when taken for extended periods of time.

  1. Prebiotic Fiber

Prebiotics are a type of fiber that are found in prebiotic-rich foods. The fiber feeds the gut bacteria, which boosts immune system health.

Research has shown that prebiotics are an important way to help good bacteria grow. Prebiotics can help protect you from toxins and other bad things that you may eat. Healthy gut lining decreases the production of acid in your esophagus. Too much acid production may cause ulcers or refluxes. A healthy gut lining promotes the growth of good gut flora to keep your immune system healthy and strong. This can help combat brain fog in many ways.

  1. Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that is found in the human brain. What it does is help regulate the levels of serotonin and stimulate neurogenesis. It also helps maintain healthy synapses by regulating how neurotransmitters work. One of the most popular benefits that this supplement offers is to reduce the risk of memory decline.

  1. Rosemary Essential Oil (not to be ingested)

The smell of Rosemary Essential Oil has been found to improve memory and attention. It can also lessen sensations of fatigue and increase alertness. An easy way to use is, 5 drops of Rosemary oil diluted in a vegetable oil carrier like coconut or olive oil. Then rub this on your temples and on the back of your neck.

How to Get These Vitamins in Your Diet

Many vitamins can be found in food, but they are also sold as supplements. Below is a list of how to find the best sources of the vitamins we listed above.

Vitamin E

The best sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils like wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils. The recommended daily intake for adults is 15 mg to 22.55 mg per day. Vitamin E also comes in supplement form.

Vitamin C and Folic Acid

Some of the best sources for Vitamin C include: citrus, strawberries, peppers and broccoli. Adults aged 19-64 need 40 mg of Vitamin C daily.

Folic acid can be found in various foods like spinach, beef liver, and black-eyed peas. The majority of people in the United States get enough folate through their diet. Male adults of age 20 get 602 mcg of folate per day, and female adults of age 20 get 455 mcg of folate per day.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil. What are some other sources of these fatty acids? Fatty fish themselves, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in eggs, and green leaves or dark leafy vegetables.

There are three main Omega-3 fatty acids. These are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is an essential fatty acid that your body cannot make. Adult males should take a recommended dose of 1.6 g. Adult women should take a recommended dose of 1.1 g.

B-Vitamins

Food sources of b-vitamins include whole grains, legumes, nuts, leafy greens, fish, bee pollen, and dairy products. You can also get your B vitamins from dietary supplements which come in the form of pills or liquid.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in green tea, and in some mushrooms.

Ginkgo Biloba

The best sources of ginkgo biloba can be found in its leaves or seeds. This tree is mainly grown in China, South Korea and Japan. The nuts can be eaten and are often found in Asian cuisine.

It usually takes the form of a liquid extract, a capsule or tablet or tea. Eating the raw leaf as part of a tea is one way to incorporate it, but you can also take supplements that contain extracts from the leaves. For people who suffer from memory loss, the dosage should be 120-240mg taken over 2-3 doses daily.

Ginseng

Ginseng, one of the best supplements to boost brain function, is found in teas and supplements. To drink Ginseng tea, steep the traditional Chinese herbal tea for 10 minutes.

Curcumin

Curcumin can be found naturally in turmeric, the spice used in Indian curry. It’s also offered as a supplement and can be found in: ginger, mustard seeds, black pepper, and curry powder. The recommended amount of curcumin is 300mg to 500 mg a day.

CDP-Choline

CDP-Choline is a synthetic form of choline that has been shown to improve memory and the ability to learn. When using supplements, the recommended dosage is 500mg or 1000mg, one hour before bedtime on an empty stomach for the best results.

Rhodiola Rosea

There are over 200 different types of Rhodiola. The best known is Rhodiola rosea which is grown also in Europe and North America and sold on the market as a dietary supplement. In order to get the benefits of this supplement you will need a minimum dose of 150mg per day for at least three months.

Prebiotic Fiber

Prebiotic fiber is present mostly in plant-based foods such as wheat bran, whole grains (barley), bananas, apples, and onions. Prebiotic fiber supplements are also available for those who wish to add it to their diet.

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine supplements do not work if you take them for an extended amount of time. Phosphatidylserine loses its effectiveness after one year of use. Best results are found when taken 3 months straight. You will need to stop taking this supplement after 3 months. When you stop, it may cause withdrawal symptoms. Your body will then start to make phosphatidylserine on its own. It produces it like a supplement.

Other Things You Can Do to Combat Brain Fog 

Getting enough vitamins is good for combating brain fog, but what else can be done? There are many lifestyle changes that people can perform to improve their cognitive function, such as:

  1. Drink plenty of water to inhibit dehydration.
  2. Exercise on a regular basis. Exercise can improve the flow of blood in your body.
  3. Eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. These foods can help protect cells, decrease inflammation, and provide sustained energy. Eating healthy fats and protein (through fish, poultry, eggs, beans) will give your brain the nutrients it needs to function properly.
  4. Get a good night’s sleep. Skimping on Zzzzs often causes things like fatigue, trouble concentrating, and memory lapses.
  5. Limit alcohol and caffeine. They can cause fatigue and interfere with your ability to focus.

The Bottom Line

Brain fog can make it difficult to focus, and in some cases may be a symptom of another illness. If you’re feeling sluggish or forgetful at work, your doctor may prescribe medication to help with the symptoms.

But there are also many natural remedies for brain fog that don’t involve prescription drugs. The vitamins above have been shown to improve memory and concentration. If you want an all-natural solution, start by incorporating these into your diet! We offer free consultations.

To find out what is causing your condition, we encourage you to make an appointment today. Our healthcare team will work to identify the cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that aligns with your needs.

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