Product of the Week: Thorne Research Memoractiv

Declining brain function can begin as early as age 30 and can become more pronounced by 50 years of age. Common complaints include diminished attention span, verbal skills, and spatial perception, deficits in abstract thinking and creativity, along with increased difficulty learning new tasks and retaining new information, fading memory, and deteriorating sleep quality. Cognitive decline can be due to brain atrophy, neuron death, diminished blood flow, DNA damage, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

Fortunately, it is possible to take proactive steps to maintaining optimal cognition and preserving healthy brain structure and function as you age. Studies show that some of the keys to maintaining brain function include healthy body weight, strong bones, stimulating mental activity, balancing hormones, regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet. In addition, taking nutritional supplements can further enhance cognitive health.

A product that I highly recommend for promoting brain health is Thorne Research Memoractiv. The ingredients found in Memoractiv support cognitive function via a variety of mechanisms of action and are provided in a convenient combination formula. I recommend taking 2 capsules twice daily.

Key ingredients include:
Ginkgo biloba (provided as a Ginkgo phytosome (Virtiva®) – Ginkgo bound to phosphatidylserine). A double-blind trial demonstrated greater cognitive support from Virtiva (Ginkgo-phosphatidylserine complex) than with the same amount of Ginkgo in a standardized extract or Ginkgo bound to phosphatidylcholine. Ginkgo promotes mental alertness, reaction time, memory, and cognition. Many studies have shown Ginkgo promotes mental functioning in individuals with cognitive decline related to aging. Double-blind trials of phosphatidylserine have shown enhanced learning and recall capabilities in older and middle-aged subjects with cognitive decline related to aging.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) helps support cognitive health. In one double-blind trial conducted with former alcoholics ages 30-60 with cognitive decline, 2 g ALC daily for three months enhanced memory, visuo-spatial capacity, and vocabulary recall. In controlled trials, ALC has improved cooperation, sociability, and attention to personal appearance in elderly subjects.

• An Ayurvedic herb, Bacopa monnieri is neuroprotective and has been shown to support memory and learning. Bacopa results in a relaxed-yet-focused effect by enhancing levels of the inhibitory (relaxing) neurotransmitter GABA.

Vinpocetine supports cerebral circulation and oxygen utilization, which can result in improved cognitive function. In double-blind trials conducted with subjects experiencing cognitive decline, vinpocetine benefited speech, language, memory, learning, and other measures of cognitive performance.

Margo Gladding, MS, CNS, LDN


Margo Gladding is an herbalist and licensed nutritionist who teaches classes and provides private consultations at Ellicott City Pharmacy. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Science degree in Herbal Medicine. She currently serves on the Maryland State Board of Dietetic Practice. Margo has over 7 years of experience working in an integrative pharmacy and loves helping people learn more about nutrition and herbs.

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