What vitamins should I take to help concentration?
Nootropics supplements, also known as vitamins for focus, are widely popular among the working demographic (18 - 65 years) and older. The uptake has been boosted further by the emergence of new evidence showing it is now possible to improve motivation, memory, alertness, creativity and overall cognitive function using nootropics with little or no side effects at all. The popularity has contributed to the creation of subsets within the niche such as the best supplements for studying and the most ideal supplements to help focus.
Learn how you can stay ahead of the competition by using vitamins to give you that extra edge at work or school.
Vitamin for Concentration - How to Optimize your Performance and Productivity
Approximately 25% of adults today take a vitamin that helps with concentration purposely to support their brain health. A common denominator among all these people - despite being in different fields and areas of specialization - is a burning desire to do more within a shorter time frame. This calls for vitamins that help with concentration since nothing stands between potentially successful people and their wildest dreams of achievement like a lack of mental alertness and creativity.
Here is a quick premise of the best vitamins for concentration for those of us who are looking to take our learning abilities and productivity a notch higher.
1. Vitamin E - Tocotrienol
Majorly known for its potent antioxidant properties, it is only recently that this under appreciated vitamin began to raise eyebrows within the nootropics and brain health niche. And, this was after a study confirmed how its deficiency is linked with deterioration of neurons and decline in cognitive abilities particularly among patients with alzeheimers. Since then, almost all supplements to help concentration have started featuring tocotrienol as one of their active ingredients and it is easy to see why.
For starters, vitamin E - being an antioxidant worth its salt - is heavily involved in the protection of neurons from oxidative damage by free radicals. And since the state of your brain neurons is the main determinant for how good your cognitive function and concentration spans is, we can conclude that better levels of vitamin E will most likely translate to greater mental performance. After all, the healthier and less damaged your neurons are, the easier it is for you to stay focused and sharp for hours or rise above mental fatigue.
Secondly, research shows how vitamin nourishes and rejuvenates the brain, preventing the early onset of mental decline in older individuals, especially among the senior population. And even though it is rare to come across a person below 50 suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, this is not to say that the same properties of tocotrienol that are used to keep dementia at bay cannot be extrapolated to boost concentration and productivity in younger people.
2. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is one of the easily accessible vitamins that help with concentration helping millions of people across the globe improve their concentration and focus levels. Research shows that vitamin D3 is critical for a properly functioning fast-firing brain , healthy neuron function and longevity of the same. What's more, it is a vital component for more than 200 bodily processes which circumscribe a variety of physiological reactions that ensure everything from bone health to optimal mood.
To retaliate this even further, a deficiency of the D3 vitamin has recently been linked to impaired mental capabilities, depressive episodes and persistent low energy by the Scientific American Journal. And, considering that close to 50% of people in the Western world are suspected to be struggling with low vitamin D3 blood levels, it is not very surprising that high cognitive performance is something of a novelty nowadays. This is the one vitamin that you want on your side if you are looking to perform at your highest potential day-in-day-out and shrug off age-related mental decline as the year clock by.
3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
They are without a doubt the Holy Grail of Nutrients. You need omega 3 not just as a vitamin that helps with concentration but also to optimize a gazillion processes in your body that are involved in the maintenance of your liver, sight, heart, kidneys and so on. Nevertheless, this does not in any way water down the beneficial properties that make Omega 3 Fatty Acids one of the best active ingredients when it comes to boosting one's cognitive aptitude. It has been observed to improve memory, attention span, multitasking ability and the overall speed of the brain's computational power thanks to the improved neural transfer that it supports.
What's more, research has also put Omega 3 in the league of the very few organic compounds found in nature that have the ability to affect one's brain size. Yes, that's right. Studies prove that people who live on a diet that is consistently rich in omega 3 fatty acids have not just better concentration and focus levels but also bigger brain capacities. And, for what it's worth, this also explains why obesity, depression, diabetes and a slew of ADHD-related complications are common among societies with a serious deficiency of this type of fatty acids.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C may be known primarily as an immune booster, but most people are not aware that it is also involved in the production of the neurotransmitter known as norepinephrine. This is the same neurotransmitter that controls your fine motor responsive actions and attention span. In other words, ascorbic acid does more than keep disease-causing organisms at bay. It indirectly helps you concentrate for longer and focus better even as you grow older and near your sunset years.
Into the bargain, vitamin C also protects the neurons against oxidative damage from stress emanating from medication, alcohol or emotional turmoil. This is the type of vitamin that gives a bulletproof immunity while keeping your brain firmly fixated on the bullseye.
Vitamins to Improve Focus and Memory - How to Remember More and for Longer
Memory is a big component of brain function and cognitive function. It is the one limiting factor that is holding us back from being at par with supercomputers as far as our performance, reliability and consistency goes. But as much as using the following supplement for focus and memory will not necessarily make you have superhuman recollection abilities, it can make a world of a difference in extracting the most out of your natural propensity to recall information.
1. Vitamin B12
Scientists have long suspected that there was a plausible link between low levels of cobalamin (vitamin B12) and inability to retain information for lengthy periods. But it is only recently that they stumbled upon evidence that adequate vitamin B12 is responsible for the almost photographic memory that we enjoy in the zenith of our youth.
Here's the thing; it is rare for younger people to suffer from cobalamin deficiency compared to persons over the age of 65 years. Part of this is because our ability to absorb and assimilate vitamin B12 weakens with age. The older you get, the harder it will be for you to extract vitamin b12 from your dietary sources. The other part is the likelihood of older individuals to be on diabetes drugs such as metformin that are associated with a lowered capacity to assimilate B12 levels. It is also the same case with anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone, proton pump inhibitors and some forms of birth control - all of which can lower one's cobalamin levels inadvertently.
This also implies that older people are more likely to suffer from vitamin-B12-deficiency-induced amnesia than young turks. Which, of course, points to the need for adequate supplementation with more bioavailable sources of cobalamin the more candles that you blow every year.
2. Panax Ginseng
Although it is not a vitamin in the strictest definition of terms, we cannot overlook the use of Panax Ginseng in boosting memory and focus that has earned it an enviable position in many traditional and folk medicine practices. Speaking of which, spanning a decent number of different civilisations, panax ginseng has been a reputable and revered adaptogen whose claim to fame revolved around its ability to sharpen memory and boost mental focus.
Its support for cognitive functions can be traced back to its capacity in stimulating the secretion of nitric oxide by the body's epithelial tissues. Nitric oxide, which is a characteristic vasodilator, will in turn trigger the opening up and widening of the blood vessels to encourage better circulation particularly in your muscles and brain. The end result is a marked improvement in alertness and focus which can be sustained for hours at a go.
Choline is one of the best vitamins to improve focus that rarely gets the limelight that it deserves. It is proven to be vastly beneficial in the maintenance of proper brain health which is a requisite condition for excellent or eidetic memory. Neuroscientists also believe that choline can prevent the characteristic decline in memory faculties that is associated with advanced age. And, in younger adults, use of choline has been linked to longer concentration spells, better nerve function and healthier brain development. When you add other little-known benefits of taking choline supplements such as improved liver function and a marked healthier metabolism, you can start to see why it is a staple among high-achieving and health-conscious individuals.
4. Ginkgo Biloba
For improved concentration paired with better memory, Ginkgo Biloba is an ideal supplement. Completely herbal and organic, Ginkgo Biloba use in improving the symptoms of dyslexia and ADD is well documented throughout history. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that its brain-boosting benefits make it a popular ingredient in almost all leading nootropic supplements. What's more, it also packs a decent punch of anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties; this means that apart from improving circulation it is also beneficial in the maintenance of cognitive health by protecting the neutrons from antioxidant stress.
Truth be told, you cannot answer the question, "What vitamins are good for focusing?" without listing L-glutamine. It is an essential neurotransmitter found in the deep recesses of the brain and is heavily involved in cognitive speed and retrieval of memories. To put it into better perspective, L-glutamine is a major constituent of the central nervous system (CNS) where it plays a significant role in overseeing a variety of metabolic reactions that keep your brain running smoothly without "glitches" such as brain fog.
Its particular role in boosting memory revolves around its involvement as a precursor of the several neurotransmitter amino acids such as aspartate, glutamate and aminobutyric acid.
Focus vitamins for Kids - Helping You Children Overcome Concentration Barriers
Experts recommend that kids should strive to eat a well-balanced and organic diet to maintain healthy levels of vitamin C, vitamin B, iron, magnesium and zinc. These nutrients are critical to proper brain function which is a requirement for improved focus and attention in kids. The following are vitamins for focus and concentration for kids especially those battling disorders such as ADHD and ADD.
Zinc is believed to be essential in the regulation of the commonly known neurotransmitter dopamine in young children. It is thought that dopamine is secreted in insufficient levels in kids suffering or prone to developing attention disorders and hyperactivity. Studies even show that children that take zinc supplements regularly are less likely to exhibit signs of impulsivity and hyperactivity, which makes it one of the top vitamins for kids to help them focus.
2. Vitamin C
The brain utilizes vitamin C - obtained from the blood before being cycled through it - to make attention-influencing neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine. Foods that are rich in vitamin C such as red peppers, oranges and kales have been observed to contribute immensely in the rehabilitation of children diagnosed with ADHD to the point where their symptoms improved well enough for them to lead normal lives. The same can be said for vitamin C supplements for kids.
3. Vitamin B
Deficiency in the B family of vitamins - especially vitamin B6 - has been linked with heightened irritability, uneasiness and chronic fatigue in children. Adequate vitamin B6 levels, on the other hand, can increase mental alertness and decrease hyperactivity and anxiety in children, particularly those with ADHD.
Most people don't know that magnesium has a special calming effect on a kids brain, something that makes it one of the major focus factor vitamins for kids. It also contributes significantly in the secretion and functioning of neurotransmitters that are linked to attention, focus and concentration.
The Bottom Line
As much as nootropics and vitamins for focus have earned their place in the scramble of maximizing the brain's output, they are not a substitute for healthy living nor a replacement for a proper diet. Regular exercise, well-balanced meals and plenty of sleep still remain as necessary as ever in the support of the brain's cognitive function, improvement of memory and sustenance of concentration ability.