Here's a surprising way to improve your memory

ConsumerAffairs

Cheap and easy, too. That got your attention, didn’t it?

How many different things do people take to improve their memory? Well, there are more than 1,000 such products on Amazon, alone.

For example, there are brain-boosting mushrooms, neuro health heroes, lion’s mane, DMAE and a chemical that comes from Chinese club moss, Huperzine A.

Now, a new study from the King’s Centre for Aging Resilience in a Changing Environment (CARICE) at King’s College of London suggests that your answer may actually be a “gut feeling.” That, quite possibly, messing with the bacteria in your gut and improving the “brain-gut axis” can help your memory as you age.

Cheap, easy, and quick

The deal is simple, the scientists say. As we age, we get weaker and more forgetful. Duh. But, they say that when they studied 72 identical twins over age 60, they found something simple waiting for them as an answer.

The group that had the real success? It was the one that did resistance exercises (sit ups, squats, push-ups, leg raises and planks) and took two cheap, over-the-counter plant fiber supplements (prebiotics) containing inulin and FOS [Fructooligosaccharides]. 

It was that combination that provided the magic: that a healthy gut microbiome is linked to better cognitive function. And not only in this study, but in others, as well. 

The fiber supplement led to significant changes in the participants' gut microbiome composition, particularly an increase in the numbers of healthy bacteria such as Bifidobacterium that’s found in your intestines and assists in digesting fiber, preventing infections, and producing important compounds such as healthy fatty acids and B vitamins. 

The impact from the exercises? Well, there wasn’t any discernible difference in muscle strength between the study groups, but the group receiving the fiber supplement did do better in tests assessing brain function, reaction time, and processing speed.

“These measures are important for daily living – for example reacting to traffic or stopping a simple trip-up turning into a fall,” the researchers said.

And fast-acting, too!

“We are excited to see these changes in just 12 weeks. This holds huge promise for enhancing brain health and memory in our aging population. Unlocking the secrets of the gut-brain axis could offer new approaches for living more healthily for longer,” first author Dr Mary Ni Lochlainn, from the Department of Twin Research, said.

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