The 10 Best Supplements for Memory You Should Take
Updated on January 31, 2024
8 min read

The 10 Best Supplements for Memory You Should Take

Table of Contents

There are supplements that attribute to the betterment of memory. Including Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Omega 3, Ginseng, and others. Although, found in natural sources like fruits and vegetables – supplements aid in boosting life cycles of memory. Consult your physician for further understanding and reliability.

It’s no secret that the supplement market is filled with false or misleading claims, though that doesn’t mean all of these ability-enhancing pills are bogus.

Presuming that you’re using a genuine product, avoiding poorly-synthesized compounds or downright counterfeits, you can see benefits by taking supplements.

However, there is still the risk of throwing too much money at synthetic compounds when it would be better spent on foods naturally rich in those very same nutrients. The trick is knowing when you need them, which ones to take, and being aware of what supplements can do for you.

Does taking a pill help protect memory?

Though there are pills specifically aimed at improving memory, it’s important to remember that we absorb micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) and macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) for all manner of bodily functions. Therefore, no one supplement only deals with memory, but rather a collection of essential nutrients that we need to function as usual.

There’s considerable research that shows supplements improve memory, though mainly in some instances. The most significant experiments usually revolve around older people with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI), individuals deficient in some nutrient, or those otherwise imbalanced. Therefore, it’s difficult to say anyone supplement will work in all scenarios.

For specific conditions, such as aphantasia, therapeutic means are more effective than physical pills, so it’s always helpful to be clear on why you’re considering supplements and managing the expectations.

Which Pills can Improve Memory?

Time and time again, studies show you can improve memory through regular physical exercise, a healthy diet, and cognitively-stimulating games or puzzles. But, aside from these techniques, a small collection of supplements is considered to have a positive influence on memory.

When the topic of memory comes up, there are a few familiar contenders for best pill. So here are our 10 best supplements for helping memory:

1. Vitamin B

Meat, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, seeds, and nuts are all packed with various B vitamins. They’re essential for everyday functions like metabolism, cell production, and mood. Vitamin B6, B9 (folate), and B12, in particular, are most linked to brain health, believed to be somewhat effective in protecting against dementia or age-related cognitive decline.

In supplement form, you can find other B-vitamins, such as thiamine (B1) and niacin (B3). These also have a well-established relationship with energy and brain health. For example, the brain needs B1 to convert glucose into energy; if a B1 deficiency prevents this from happening, brain cells will die. Aside from this, thiamine is also crucial for the modulation of the chief neurotransmitter acetylcholine, integral for memory and learning. Alzheimer’s patients are regularly observed to have diminished number and function of acetylcholine, suggesting that B1 supplements could prevent severe degeneration.

B-vitamins contribute to a vast range of functions, so if you’re low on B-vitamins, it’s imperative to find a reliable source quickly. Whether you make dietary changes or take supplements, these nutrients cannot be ignored.

2. Vitamin E

Sourced from plant oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, vitamin E strengthens the immune system and cell membranes and supports skin and eye health.

Research does suggest that vitamin E may slow the decline of memory-related illnesses, namely Alzheimer’s disease, as shown in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Another study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, found that participants with the highest vitamin E intake had the most significant reduction of age-associated cognitive decline.

There’s some evidence to support the argument that vitamin E supplements can boost memory. One cohort study, published in the journal Nutrients, found a positive correlation between blood levels of vitamin E and verbal and working memory abilities.

Despite select studies indicating that vitamin E supplements may prevent the progression of dementia syndromes, experts are not yet fully convinced with the current amount of research. In addition, vitamin E is not considered as closely connected to memory as B-vitamins.

3. L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid found in black and green tea. The human body doesn’t produce this compound, which may explain its popularity as a supplement. There is quite a large body of research that explores L-theanine’s influence on mental state. Many found that this supplement can be effectively used to improve memory and thinking skills and ease anxiety and stress.

It’s safe to assume that L-theanine has the potential to enhance mental performance, yet it’s still unclear whether you’d be better sourcing it from supplements or simply drinking green tea. In terms of being used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, or other conditions that impact memory, there isn’t yet enough research for a definitive answer.

4. Caffeine

If you do find yourself enjoying green tea, you’ll be getting around twice as much caffeine than L-theanine. The energy-boosting properties of caffeine are common knowledge, but fewer are aware of the potential benefits to memory.

A 2014 Johns Hopkins study observed that participants taking caffeine supplements did better in memory tests, which required them to remember images 24 hours later, concluding that caffeine enhanced consolidation of long-term memories. However, caffeine pills may improve attention or stimulate the brain.

One study, appearing in the Frontiers of a Psychology journal, explored how caffeinated coffee results in higher memory performance in the early morning but not in the late afternoon. The researchers proposed that caffeine helps cognition during suboptimal conditions but may not directly link to memory function.

So, if you’re a regular coffee or tea drinker, you won’t likely need to invest in caffeine supplements. Over-consuming caffeine can result in restlessness, anxiety, and abnormal heart rhythms. However, you could see significant benefits to memory by taking caffeine tablets in place of a morning coffee or tea.

5. Omega-3s

Dieticians regularly rave about the Mediterranean diet, rich in monounsaturated fats (olives, nuts) and polyunsaturated fats (fish, seeds). The two main classes of polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and 6 acids, both associated with a substantial number of health benefits.

High amounts of omega-3 are linked to a lower risk of dementia, as well as inflammatory diseases and depression. Generally, neurons with higher membrane levels of omega-3 communicate more effectively with other brain cells.

There is a unanimous belief that omega-3 is crucial for proper memory function and normal cognition in general. Because the Western diet isn’t high in this polyunsaturated fat, experts repeatedly recommend omega-3 supplements.

For those genetically predisposed to dementia, mainly Alzheimer’s, taking these supplements may prevent the associated mental declines, as supported by a few notable studies.

6. Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo Biloba, native to China, is one the oldest tree species in the world, with some leaf fossils dating back over 200 million years. Gingko herbal remedies aren’t new, used to treat dizziness, anxiety, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), cognitive disorders, and memory issues.

Researchers have become increasingly interested in the effect of Gingko supplements on memory, repeatedly employing Gingko Biloba extract (GBE) to improve the memory of those with dementia conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Several trials have shown that gingko supplementation improved cognitive and memory tests results, but this may be limited to memory problems caused by dementia. It may be effective for the treatment of general age-related memory loss, though there is less evidence to support that claim.

7. Ginseng

Although ginseng is popularly considered an Asian herbal remedy, the term refers to many different varieties of fleshy-rooted plants. Some species of ginseng are native to the US and Canada, while others do indeed grow in China and Korea.

Ginseng may be a potent supplement. Clinical trials have shown ginseng to positively impact Alzheimer’s patients’ memory, indicating it as a possible symptomatic treatment.

One 2020 study found that ginseng supplements (200mg/kg) can improve memory and learning; at the same time, it also increased the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, essential for neuron development, in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory.

Unlike micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) and macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates), ginseng cannot be sourced in a typical diet. Therefore, though it is possible to eat the raw plant, supplements are a far more convenient choice, especially for those wanting to mitigate age-related memory loss and mental decline.

8. Curcumin

As part of the curcuminoid group of plant compounds, curcumin is the primary active compound in turmeric. It’s responsible for the characteristic color of the spice, though some research suggests it does quite a lot more.

UCLA researchers discovered that daily consumption of curcumin improves the long-term memory and mood of those with age-related memory conditions. The precise way curcumin works are still unknown, though it’s thought to reduce the kind of brain inflammation linked to Alzheimer’s disease and certain depressive disorders.

A more recent animal study revealed that curcumin either moderated or reversed memory impairment, suggesting that these supplements could have application as a preventive and therapeutic treatment for memory disorders.

Aside from turmeric spice, you won’t be able to source curcumin from your diet. You may see significant advantages of taking the appropriate supplements, which are not solely concerned with memory. As a highly potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, curcumin can contribute to heart and joint health, too.

9. CDP -choline

CDP-choline, Cytidine Diphosphate-choline, is a naturally-occurring compound in the brain. In supplement form, it goes by Citicoline, first synthesized in the 1970s as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and strokes. It certainly worked: in one study involving 272 stroke patients taking citicoline supplements, 54% of participants experienced improvements in brain function in as little as two weeks. Since its creation, it has been used as a medication for various cognitive impairments, including memory problems.

Studies show that long-term CDP-choline supplements ameliorate spatial memory impairment in compromised animals, but other studies show no difference between CDP-choline and placebo pills in vascular dementia patients.

These days, citicoline is widely available as a health supplement. Recent research shows real prospects for using this supplement as a memory performance booster for older people with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI).

10. Magnesium L -threonate

Magnesium is a massively significant mineral, necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions, including normal nerve and muscle function, strengthening the immune system, and maintaining regular heart rate. Thankfully, it’s found naturally in lots of foods, but certain types of magnesium are thought to be especially helpful for memory.

Magnesium L-threonate is synthesized by mixing elemental magnesium and threonic acid derived from vitamin C. This form of magnesium is particularly easy to absorb, it’s thought to be a highly effective way to increase the magnesium in the brain cells.

In a 2010 experiment, levels of brain magnesium were elevated through the use of Magnesium L-threonate. Subsequently, there was an increased number of axon terminals, button-shaped connectors between neurons, in the brain’s hippocampus region, an area largely concerned with long-term and spatial memory.

Well before the newly-developed L-threonate compound, it was well known that magnesium deficiency (Hypomagnesemia) is seriously damaging for the brain. Magnesium is a kind of gatekeeper that prevents the receptors involved in development, memory, and learning from getting overstimulated. When magnesium levels are critically low, neurons effectively burn out and die.

There is strong potential for magnesium supplements to increase memory function. However, memory benefits are primarily associated with Magnesium L-threonate, so do be observant of exactly which form of magnesium you take.

Do I need to take supplements?

Whether or not you require supplements will depend on your individual situation. Without a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise, supplements can only do so much. The best approach is a holistic one, focusing on lifestyle choices that are most nurturing for the body and mind.

Aside from putting food first and hitting the gym, you can improve memory through cognitive stimulation. Try puzzles, games, and training apps to engage and practice memory capabilities. Using a dedicated app like memoryOS means that you can train in the specific stages of memory, from learning how to properly encode to finding more efficient ways of storing and retrieving information.    

For those at higher risk of developing dementia, or comparable conditions, it’s always advised to discuss options with your doctor. The causes and treatments of dementia vary between types, meaning that so does the relevance and impact of supplements.


Can supplements improve memory?
If you are receiving adequate nutrition from a current diet, there is less evidence that additional supplementation has a significant effect on memory. However, if you prove nutritionally deficient or imbalanced, taking vitamin supplements can play a crucial role in healthy memory.

What are the best vitamins for memory? This question has been posed countless times, but the returning champions are the B-vitamins, specifically B12, B9 (synthesized as folic acid), and B6. Their influence on the body is enormous. They have a direct relationship with energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.

What apps help improve memory? Any app or game that challenges you mentally activates multiple regions in the brain. For preventative measures against general cognitive decline, there are many options. However, suppose you’re looking for apps that specifically pertain to memory. In that case, it’s crucial to find one that has been designed with science in mind. memoryOS melds proven techniques with innovative advancements, allowing users to gain control of the entire memorization process systematically.

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