Boston, MA (PRWEB) December 04, 2012
Can taking a pill improve memory or boost brain function? Probably not, reports the December 2012 Harvard Men's Health Watch.
A long list of supplements allegedly "support" or "help" the brain. These include three B vitamins (folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12) and antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10. But wait, there's more: the herbal supplements huperzine A and ginkgo biloba, along with nutraceuticals like fish oil (containing omega-3 fatty acids), curcumin, and coconut oil. Cross off most of these products for lack of solid scientific evidence.
"There are a lot of things out there for which we have no data on whether they are safe or do anything to help," says Dr. Gad Marshall, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Want to do something proven to help maintain mind and memory? "My strongest recommendations are a Mediterranean-style diet and regular physical exercise," Dr. Marshall says.
Would-be supplement shoppers also need to be aware of safety issues that have been raised about some so-called brain boosters.
Because of a legal loophole, dietary supplements do not have to pass the rigorous FDA process to ensure they are safe and effective. That means many of these products are on the shelves claiming to "support" or "help" memory because of a gap in the law—not because we have strong evidence that those claims are true.
Read the full-length article: "Mind and memory supplement scorecard"
Also in the December 2012 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch:
The Harvard Men's Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).