Your memory is a precious gift that needs some protecting. While memory loss can be a normal part of aging, it's possible to slow it down with proper nutrition and some lifestyle changes.
If you've been feeling a bit foggy or confused lately, vitamin B6 could be the answer to your lagging memory.
Vitamin B6 and Your Memory
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is considered a water-soluble vitamin. What that means is this vitamin dissolves it water and is therefore not stored anywhere in the body. Vitamin B6 is essential to proper brain function because it keeps the nerves healthy and functioning properly. According to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, consumption of vitamin B6, in the daily recommended amount, was associated with better memory in both men and women. Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include confusion, depression, poor coordination and irritability.
This benefit was highlighted on the July 16 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show." Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed the role of vitamin B6 in supporting memory function, explaining how it could allow you to better remember your dreams and determine their meaning.
Additional benefits of vitamin B6 include the production of disease-fighting antibodies and hemoglobin, which provides the tissues with oxygen by holding it within the red blood cells. Vitamin B6 can also help your body properly digest proteins within the foods you eat and keeps blood sugar levels stable, to prevent spikes and crashes.
Getting More Vitamin B6
Foods that provide vitamin B6 include avocados, nuts and whole grains. Supplements are also available in various strengths and forms, even liquids, and vitamin B6 is typically found in all multivitamins. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6 for an adult, according to the the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is between 1.3 and 1.7 mg per day, depending on gender.
Your doctor can help determine the proper dose if you feel you aren't getting enough. Since vitamin B6 is water soluble, whatever the body doesn't need is expelled through the urine. Therefore, taking more than you need isn't necessarily going to produce extraordinary results. If you've ever taken a multivitamin and noticed your urine became almost neon in color, that's the result of excess vitamins, namely B vitamins, leaving the body.
Other Ways to Boost Memory
Supporting your cognitive health takes daily effort to prevent future issues. There are additional supplements you can take to improve your memory, such as zinc or phosphatidyl serine. Here are some other things to try for memory as well as overall brain health:
Snack on blueberries or pumpkin seeds, which are rich in valuable vitamins and minerals, like zinc.
Memorize your five most important phone numbers.
Try eating with your non-dominant hand.
Get plenty of sleep.
Keep a journal next to your bed to record dreams and other important thoughts.
It's possible to protect your memory now with vitamin B6. Check out our entire selection of supplements at eVitamins and stay tuned for more health news!