Supplements For Cognitive Function And Memory

supplements for cognitive function and memory

Cognitive Function and Memory

Omega-3’s – Krill oil, & Fermented Cod Liver Oil

There are three types of omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — which are found mostly in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel — alpha linolenic  acid (ALA), which is found in leafy green vegetables (Brussels sprouts, spinach), nuts and seeds (walnuts, flaxseeds). 

In terms of supplements, I recommend krill oil because it is sustainably harvested and very pure, along with fermented cod liver oil. A combination of these gives you the right Omega‘s along with natural vitamins A and D, and Alpha Lipoic Acid

That said, the best way to get Omega’s though is to eat Salmon or Mackerel 1-3 times a week. The body uses the Omega‘s from the actual fish more effectively than it uses supplements. I like to hedge my bets and do both.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and is believed to help with brain health by reducing oxidative stress. I don’t recommend high doses as they can have negative side effects, one of which is the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. But that is a rare occurrence and only happens when extremely high doses of Vitamin E are ingested.  Vitamin E is also important for good skin.

B Vitamins

Three B vitamins are often linked with brain health: B6, B9 (folate), and B12. They can help break down homocysteine, which has been associated with a greater risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. B vitamins also help produce energy needed to develop new brain cells.

However, most people get enough B vitamins through their diet. You may need extra B vitamins via supplements if you have a B deficiency, if you don’t get enough from your diet or if you have high levels of homocystine. B deficits also affect hair, skin and nails.

Folate (not folic acid) is the appropriate from of vitamin B. Likewise always take B12 with biotin.  A great B complex vitamin is made by Dr. Axe. The right B vitamins in the right combination.

NAC – N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

NAC is the supplement form of cysteine. It replenishes the most powerful antioxidant in your body, glutathione, and as such seems to help us live longer.  This is why it’s recommended as a potential treatment for different disorders resulting from free radicals (the little buggers that age us and cause disease), especially those affecting the brain such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  It is even good for the prevention of cancer.  It also aids in the treatment of chronic respiratory conditions, heart disease and even infertility. 

Coconut Oil

This is my favorite supplement. It is the only thing ever shown to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s. One of the theories is that it works because it’s a potent anti-microbial and Alzheimer’s may actually be an infection in the brain.

I put a tablespoon or two in my coffee or tea each morning, fry all meats in coconut oil, and slather it on my veggies. It does not store as fat in the body but is used instead as instant energy.


Besides being effective in preventing Alzheimer’s, turmeric is also effective in preventing cancer and heart disease. It is an all-around great supplement.


Quercetin, is a naturally occurring dietary flavonoid, that is well known for ameliorating chronic diseases and delaying the aging process.  There is good data showing that quercetin offers neuroprotective benefits, due to its ability to defend the brain against oxidative stress and inflammation, leading to potentially less risk for cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is also a potent anti-viral which may be one of the reasons it helps protect against Alzheimer’s. The anti-viral properties make it a must have in the prevention of COVID. National Library of Medicine, Role of Quercetin Benefits in Neurodegeneration, 2016

Finally it is so effective against allergies, that it has also been called an antihistamine. Little known, it is a powerhouse and an all-around good supplement. At this time, practitioners and patients report using quercetin to effectively fight conditions related to inflammation, including:

  • “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis)
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease and circulation problems
  • insulin resistance and diabetes
  • eye-related disorders, including cataracts
  • allergies, asthma and hay fever
  • stomach ulcers
  • cognitive impairment
  • gout
  • viral infections
  • inflammation of the prostate, bladder and ovaries
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • cancer
  • chronic infections of the prostate
  • skin disorders, including dermatitis and hives

Dr. Axe, Quercetin: 8 Proven Benefits of This Antioxidant (#1 Is Incredible), By Jillian Levy, CHHC, 9/24/2019

Read more about the benefits of Coconut Oil

Dr. Renae Norton specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form for someone to call you to discuss your concerns. Tele-therapy sessions available. Individual and family sessions also available.

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Materials contained on this site are made available solely for educational purposes and as part of an effort to raise general awareness of the psychological treatments available to individuals with health issues. These materials are not intended to be, and are not a substitute for, direct professional medical or psychological care based on your individual condition and circumstances.  Dr. J. Renae Norton does not diagnose or treat medical conditions. While this site may contain descriptions of pharmacological, psychiatric and psychological treatments, such descriptions and any related materials should not be used to diagnose or treat a mental health problem without consulting a qualified mental health care provider.  You are advised to consult your medical health provider about your personal questions or concerns.