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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Building a Better Brain: Ray Kurzweil's Suggestions

Futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil wrote a book called Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. In it, he talks about various ways that the body breaks down as we age, and methods to try to slow down or prevent senescence. Fortunately, this article contains the highlights of the much longer book. To improve mental function specifically, he recommends taking these supplements that have been clinically shown to enhance brainpower:

• Vinpocetine, which increases energy production and increases blood flow to the brain. When combined with ginkgo biloba, vinpocetine has been shown to enhance short-term memory.
• Phosphatidylserine, which can slow and even reverse memory loss in patients with age-associated memory loss.
• Acetyl-L-carnitine, which protects brain tissue from inflammation and may improve mood and concentration.
• Ginkgo biloba, which improves overall brain function and increases blood supply to the brain.
• Pregnenolone, which improves communication between neurons, enhancing memory and reducing anxiety.
• EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that may help relieve depression, aggression, and anxiety.
• Phosphatidylcholine, which may aid memory and learning, as well as reverse some age-associated damage to brain cells.

While Kurzweil apparently takes 60 pills a day, you probably don't need to go so far to improve your memory and other mental faculties.

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