Have you ever walked into a room and then completely forgot why you have gone there in the first place? Have you ever had those moments where you could almost remember the name of something or someone but you just couldn’t spell it out of your mouth? Or perhaps you often think that you have not keep your milk in the fridge, but when you open the fridge you see you have already put it inside. Do you go through such moments every once in a while? If so, you might be experiencing what scientists call ‘brain fog.’
There are a few possible causes of brain fog, such as the loss of a loved one or binge drinking. However, if this happens way too many times, it could indicate a much deeper problem, such as dementia or other chronic illnesses. However, all hope is not lost. There are certain brain boosting supplements for brain fog symptoms, particularly those containing Vitamin B. A number of studies have reported how Vitamin B can actually help alleviate brain fog symptoms. Read on to know more about the causes of brain fog and how you can reduce its occurrence.
Brain Fog: Causes & Symptoms
So how can you recognize if you have brain fog issues? Ask yourself a few questions and see if you have been having these symptoms for a prolonged period of time and more often. Are you having trouble focusing? When you’re trying to think, you’re slow and interrupted? Are you forgetting your daily activities more often than before? Do you get disoriented and confused quite easily? The intensity of these symptoms can vary patient to patient and can be seen on a daily or even on an hourly basis. All of these symptoms ultimately lead to anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. So what are the causes of brain fog?
- Sleeplessness: If you’re not getting the recommended amount of sleep, you may experience brain fog more often. Sleep is required for healthy neural patterns, so lack of sleep could mean abnormal neural patterns, ultimately leading to brain fog.
- Dehydration: Even dehydration can cause mental imbalance since 73% of our brain is composed of water. Dehydration is known to cause memory problems and reduction in perception and alertness.
- Stress: If your daily life is very stressful, there would be a constant production of the stress hormone cortisol. If its production is not switched off due to continuous stress, you could have brain fog.
- Hormone imbalance: Pregnant women may experience brain fog due to changing levels of progesterone and estrogen. Some people with lower thyroid hormones may also experience brain fog.
- Inactive lifestyle: A lifestyle lacking exercise may lead to you experiencing brain fog. Exercise leads to better blood flow, healthy heart rate, healthy sweat production and it boosts brain activity, thus an inactive and sedentary lifestyle could cause brain fog.
- Medications and medical conditions: Some drugs could produce brain fog as side effects such as medications for sleep or anxiety, anticholinergics or antidepressants. Some OTC supplements can also cause brain fog side effects. Brain fog may indicate much deeper problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, migraine or autoimmune diseases.
If you are experiencing any or several of these brain fog symptoms, you should seek medical consultation immediately. There are some OTC supplements that can help reduce brain fog, and the most widely used supplements for brain fog are vitamin B complex capsules.
Vitamin B Complex and Why You Need Them
Vitamin B complex is a combination of a large number of B vitamins. Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin make up the vitamin B complex. Studies have shown how important vitamin B is for the brain. Usually, these vitamins act as coenzymes to a large number of metabolic pathways, thus a deficiency could cause hindrance to these pathways and make you unhealthy. For example, B vitamins are needed to enhance the citric acid cycle and energy production through mitochondrial electron transport chain. Vitamin B is also needed for the folate cycle and production of methionine.
In the brain, vitamin B is required for the synthesis of nitric oxide in neurons, and production of catecholamines which act as neurotransmitters. So it only makes sense that the lack of vitamin B can really affect the entire body and most importantly, your brain. This gives good reason to suggest how the lack of vitamin B could cause brain fog and other related symptoms. Vitamin B complex is found in many supplements for brain fog due to this very reason. If we break down Vitamin B complex to its constituents, you’ll notice how each vitamin is different from the other and why you need all of them.
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): Thiamine is usually taken by individuals suffering from its deficiency, by pregnant women and those with beriberi, cerebellar syndrome or neuritis. Thiamine also helps fight against memory loss and induces a positive mood. Those with severe thiamine deficiency suffer from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a brain disorder. Thiamine is often prescribed to diabetic patients with defected kidneys, or people facing cataracts and dysmenorrhea. Clearly, vitamin B1 benefits you in many ways and prevents certain dangerous symptoms.
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): Riboflavin is required for proper cellular function. Vitamin B2 is also used to treat acne, muscle cramps, and certain blood disorders. Most importantly, it has shown to reduce the number of migraine attacks. Riboflavin promotes healthy hair, skin and nail growth, which is why it also has anti-aging effects. Riboflavin is often prescribed to people suffering from memory loss, multiple sclerosis, and increased blood pressure.
- Niacin (vitamin B3/nicotinic acid): Niacin is known to boost healthy cholesterol levels. In fact, it’s recommended for those with risks of cardiovascular diseases due to high cholesterol levels. Niacin deficiency causes pellagra, which is a disease with three symptoms- diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia. For adults and all other age groups, the maximum intake of niacin should be no more than 35 mg.
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): Vitamin B5 has a wide range of uses, ranging from treatment of ADHD to countering obesity. It can also help reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS), nerve pain and anxiety. However, more research is needed to exactly know how pantothenic acid words.
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6): Pyridoxine is useful in treating anemia, reduction of homocysteine, PMS, morning sickness in pregnant women and depression. Pyridoxine is needed for healthy skin, brain and nerve development. The body primarily uses it to metabolize sugars, proteins, and fats properly.
- Biotin (vitamin B7): It is an important cofactor in a vast number of metabolic enzymatic reactions. The symptoms of biotin deficiency include thinning of hair, reduction of hair color, hallucinations, and depression. People who smoke or have rapidly lost weight often have a biotin deficiency.
- Folic acid (vitamin B9): Its natural form is folate. Due to federal laws, folate has always been added to foods such as cereals, pasta, bread, bakery items, and cookies. Pregnant women have been often prescribed folate because the lack of it has been shown to cause neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and abnormal brain development in babies, or even worse, miscarriage. Folic acid can be applied to gum to prevent gum infections.
- Cobalamin (vitamin B12): Cobalamin comes in many different forms and most supplements contain the most stable form – cyanocobalamin. Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of healthy red blood cells and neurons. The lack of vitamin B12 could cause fatigue, memory loss and weakness. There have been some studies that suggested that vitamin B12 helps in weight loss, but those results have remained inconclusive.
I guess now you realize what powers vitamin B complex holds. However, you should not stick to vitamin B complex alone. There are plenty of other micronutrients that can help you deal with brain fog. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components for brain function and development, and they can be found in fish oils in abundance. Magnesium is a cofactor for many cellular reactions, including neuronal transmissions; hence you definitely need to consume magnesium. You can take acetylcholine as well. Studies have shown that it’s important for proper cognitive function. Last but not least, you can also try phosphatidylserine.
This molecule is crucial for the development of cell membranes, especially the myelin sheaths of neurons. It’s best to obtain these ingredients through such foods as fish, milk, meat, fruits and vegetables. Despite your diet, you may have micronutrient deficiencies gone undetected. So you should definitely consult a doctor before taking any supplement. Remember that these supplements may not actually cure brain fog, but may help reduce its intensity and symptoms. As long as you’re not facing too much side effects, you could continue usage of B vitamins supplements.