Harvard Men's Health Watch

On call: Do any memory supplements work?

Image: Thinkstock

Q. Most of what I read about herbs and supplements to prevent memory loss is negative. Do any supplements help even a little?

A. There's no magic pill to protect the brain from aging and disease. Many vitamins and herbal medicines have been tested to see if they preserve memory or prevent the onset of dementia, but none have passed the test. For example, several well-designed studies have checked to see if the popular herbal supplement ginkgo biloba prevents dementia, but found no strong evidence. However, large doses of Vitamin E may slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease once it takes hold.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »