As people struggle to keep up with the pace of a fast moving world, many resort to practices that can enhance their performance in order to achieve the intended goals. These practices include taking various supplements, drugs or foods, which are either made synthetically or extracted from natural ingredients. While some of these enhancers are used to boost the physical performance, some are used as ‘brain boosters’. This article will discuss briefly some of the natural brain boosters and their potential effects on enhancing the brain function.
What does ‘brain boosters’ do?
Although many believe that brain boosters enhance only the memory capacity, it may not be a true assumption, the reason being that some of the brain boosters have the capacity to increase the alertness, mood, thinking, concentration and even the focus, which may also help bolster the memory. However, many ‘brain boosters’ do not have enough scientific backing to prove their case while how they react with the brain also remains a mystery. Although this is true with most ‘brain boosters’, certain others can be described scientifically in relation to their mechanism of action as well as their effect.
What are the examples for natural brain boosters?
Leafs of the ginkgo tree are one such natural brain booster which has been researched for its potential effects on brain function. While some researchers have provided evidence to support such a boosting action, some have failed to do so. However, the proponents of its use claim it to have beneficial effects in slowing down the progression or occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease as well as age related memory loss. As explained by scientists, ginkgo acts by thinning the blood and therefore increasing the oxygen flow to the brain. Because of its blood thinning effect, ginkgo should not be used with other blood thinning medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or warfarin as it can lead to serious bleeding within the body.
Huperzine-A is another natural brain booster originating from China, which seems to act on the brains neurotransmitters. Thus, once ingested, these substances will interfere with the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is the brain’s signaling chemical between two nerves. Thus, the availability of additional acetylcholine would mean that the person could tolerate more information and therefore enhance his or her memory. However, there is not much scientific evidence to back these claims even at the present time.
Apart from the above natural herbs, certain nutrients have also been shown to work as brain boosters. Among them, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is a omega-3-fatty acid found in fish oils have been proven as an effective brain booster especially in the early years of life where rapid brain growth takes place.
Similar to DHA, acetyl-L-carnitine has also been studied as a brain booster and researchers believe that it can slow down the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease and age related mild memory loss. This nutrient has the ability to improve alertness and focus within a few hours after ingestion although, as with many other natural remedies, it lacks the scientific backing to prove its effectiveness.
Do the ‘brain boosters’ really work?
It is hard to predict what brain boosters will do especially when they are natural brain boosters as described earlier. At the same time, a natural brain booster which works for some, may not be as effective for someone else. Therefore, one should experiment with one brain booster at a time and experience its effectiveness themselves before making any conclusions. However, one should also remember that, ‘nothing is good when it is too much’ and therefore when taken excessively, even the natural brain boosters can give rise to side effects.