Take natural Smart Drugs to improve memory and focus

Nootropics, a class of “smart drugs” and supplements that claim cognitive enhancement, are increasingly being taken to optimize performance.

Enthusiasts say that they improve memory, boost concentration, and enhance productivity, but little scientific evidence exists to support such claims, and, for most, longterm safety has yet to be established. In addition, concerns about abuse, dependence, and addiction have not yet been adequately addressed.

The most widely accepted way to keep your mind nimble is to take on new mental challenges. One of the most promising methods is to study a language, which draws on “fluid intelligence,” among the first aspects of brain function to be affected by age. Regular meditation and short naps can also help.

If you insist on a pill to support healthy cognition, the best is supplemental fish oil. Omega-3 fats are necessary for proper brain function, and most people in our part of the world are deficient.

Omega-3s help maintain nerve cell structure, limit inappropriate inflammation, and may benefit nerve signal transmission. Look for a molecularly distilled, concentrated product with 700 to 1,000 mg of EPA and 200 to 500 mg of DHA. Take that amount (or double) daily with your largest meal.

Source: Andrew Weil, MD, is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona.
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