Looking for brain health vitamins and supplements to help alleviate long-term cognitive symptoms of COVID? Here’s what to consider – and what to avoid.
COVID-19 can leave its mark on the brain in different ways. Some are life-threatening – from severe brain swelling to strokes. Others are more subtle and harder to diagnose, such as increased forgetfulness or difficulty staying focused. As mild as they are, the neurological symptoms that might follow SARS-CoV-2 infection can be stressful and disruptive, even debilitating. And, studies find, they can linger for months in a row.
If you’re struggling with these symptoms, some dietary and lifestyle changes may help. But the search for remedies can lead you through a maze of brain supplement hype. Here’s what you need to know about what works and what doesn’t.
Can brain health supplements help with COVID brain fog?
The short answer: Not necessarily. Many supplements that claim benefits for brain health have not been studied in credible, large-scale, peer-reviewed trials, and experts say there is simply no reliable scientific evidence to support brain health. their effectiveness.
Product labels may claim otherwise, but it should be noted that these labels are not always reliable. The supplement market is considered a “Wild West” of products that do not require FDA approval before being marketed. Being Patient has reported story after story about various brain health supplement makers (Neuriva Plus, Prevagen to name a few) settling false advertising lawsuits after making scientifically unverified claims about dubious benefits (sometimes quite expensive) of their products.
That said, there are many vitamins that are unquestionably good for us (when taken as directed).
Vitamins and nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, high quality multivitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, curcumin, and others have been shown in peer-reviewed studies to boost the brain. Curcumin (turmeric) – the substance that gives curry its yellow color – is also an anti-inflammatory that can help improve both memory and mood. It has even been used as a key ingredient in experimental treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Severe vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of dementia, up to two-fold. And vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to fatigue, poor memory and depression. In many cases, however, more research is still needed to determine the exact brain health benefits that can be gained from these vitamins and in what doses. Some nutrients, like magnesiummay have a well of research behind their associations with brain health, but this does not mean a consensus was reached on its effects.
One thing most scientists agree on is that it’s better and more efficient to get these vitamins and nutrients from your diet, not from a bottle in the supplement aisle. In some cases, supplements can even be harmful.
Make sure you get nutrients through your diet
The good news is that many of these nutrients are found in foods you may already be eating regularly. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and cabbage are rich in several nutrients, including vitamin E, folate, beta-carotene, lutein-zeaxanthin, and flavonoids. All these micronutrients are related to better cognitive function in men.
And The mediterranean diet may be one of the best diets for brain health. This consists of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil and fish. Various components of this diet each have their own scientifically proven benefits: on the one hand, studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil, with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, can contribute to a better visual memory, better verbal fluency, and even a reduced risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Meanwhile, fish is an excellent source of omega-3s, which studies have linked to slower rates of cognitive decline.
Change takes time, and science shows that it’s important to be patient and consistent.
Recap: Make sure you get enough of the following
If you’re looking for vitamins and nutrients that can help alleviate brain fog, avoid flashy, celebrity-endorsed supplements with too much branding and not enough peer-reviewed third-party studies to verify their benefits. Instead, just make sure you’re getting your recommended daily values of vitamins like B, VS and D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Eat a healthy diet, do not take supplements without consulting your doctor and instructions, and keep in mind: vitamins aren’t the only way to clear your mind. Other simple lifestyle changes – including sleep and exercise – can make a big difference in removing brain fog.