Boosting Brain Power Beyond Gingko

By Michael A. Smith, MD

We all have those senior moments from time to time, forgetting where we put the keys or to pick up the dry cleaning. Sure, supplementing with Ginkgo is a great start, but how else can you tighten your focus and help ward off absent-minded mishaps?

Let’s dig into two essential brain boosting ingredients that show exciting potential for just that purpose.

Enhance Brain Function with Phosphatidlyserine

Phosphatidylserine, known as PS, optimizes brain cell structure and function. However, aging causes a steep decline in the amount of PS found in our brain cells. This has a negative impact on brain function and can certainly lead to those “senior moments.”

Research has shown that in addition to improving function, supplementing with PS can significantly improve nerve cell response before and after induced stress, resulting in a more relaxed state.1,2

Feed Your Brain More Oxygen with Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine is an extract of the periwinkle plant and has effects on brain blood vessels, brain blood flow, and brain cells themselves. As a result, it can help enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

Using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, Hungarian investigators demonstrated that administering vinpocetine led to an increase in glucose transport into cells within the central nervous system.3

The same researchers used PET scanning to demonstrate the effectiveness of either intravenous (IV) or oral tablet vinpocetine in people who suffered a stroke. They showed that vinpocetine increased brain glucose uptake and metabolism, especially in areas nearest the damaged brain tissue.

So how does vinpocetine work? It dilates arteries by relaxing smooth muscle cells within the wall of the artery. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme, phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1). This inhibition reduces intracellular calcium levels and results in smooth muscle relaxation.

Try this at home:

Want a boost to help ward off your own senior moments? Here are our suggestions:

  1. Supplement with 100 mg/day of PS
  2. Supplement with 10-30 mg/day of vinpocetine

Have you tried either PS or vinpocetine yourself? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


  1. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Jul 28;5:11.
  2. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1992;42(4):385-8.
  3. Szilagyi G, Nagy Z, Balkay L, et al. Effects of vinpocetine on the redistribution of cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism in chronic ischemic stroke patients: a PET study. J Neurol Sci. 2005 Mar 15;229-230:275-84.


Procera AVH said...

Thanks a lot for writing on brain topic actually I was looking for that.

how to improve memory said...

Agree oxygen can also help improve brain power. That is why we often cannot think straight whenever we are stress or we are panicking.

What I usually do is I take deep breathes every 5 hours to distress myself so I can work well after.

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