Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

When it comes to our memory, we might just assume that getting older means getting more forgetful, but that isn’t naturally the case. Memory problems can stem from many different factors, including a vitamin deficiency. 

Being forgetful and having problems with short-term memory or feeling confused and foggy in your mind, can be a symptom of a lack of Vitamin B12 so if you are looking to improve your memory, a vitamin supplement might be all you need. 

Over time we need more nutrients for good brain health and our modern-day diets don’t always provide these. We need to make sure that we are not only eating but also absorbing all the nutrients we need for good health. 

It might be that all you need to do is change your diet as all the nutrients we need can be found in our food, however, if you have a restricted diet such as vegan, or paleo, it is possible you might be missing out on some key nutrients and that’s where supplements can really help.

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While diet plays a particularly important role in this process, it’s also possible to meet any deficiencies more easily by taking vitamins and other supplements. A lack of certain vitamins can have an extraordinarily strong effect on our cognitive function. 

If you are finding your memory isn’t always reliable, it is a worrying time, but it is worth doing some tests to find out what the problem is. Your doctor or a nutritionist can soon tell you if you have any kind of deficiency that a supplement could easily resolve. 

A vitamin deficiency might not sound particularly serious, but if your brain isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, this can lead to symptoms including memory loss and short-term memory problems, as well as other problems with thinking clearly.


Vitamin B12

The B vitamins are needed for nerve cells and producing energy and Vitamin B12 is just one of them. It is naturally found in animal products including meat and poultry products, which is why it is common for vegetarians and vegans to suffer from a Vitamin B12 deficiency. 

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Some foods, including cereal, are fortified with it, so there are ways to get it through diet, however, if you don’t eat animal products then it is likely to be beneficial to take a Vitamin B12 supplement to support your brain function. 

It is thought that this vitamin is vital for DNA processes, brain function, and red blood cell formation, and symptoms of a deficit include a bad memory, confusion, depression, and even dementia, which shows just how vital this vitamin is to our brain health.

When it comes to improving your memory, this is the first vitamin you should think about, and it is possible to be tested for B-Vitamin deficiency so that you can find out for sure if that is an issue for you.


Vitamin E

Studies have shown that Vitamin E has helped people with Alzheimer’s who were experiencing memory issues, although a Vitamin E deficiency is quite rare. You should be able to get enough Vitamin E from your diet and check with your doctor before using a specific supplement as they can interact with other health conditions. 

Those who are on low-fat diets are likely to be deficient in Vitamin E, but it can be found naturally in vegetables including broccoli, seeds, vegetable oils, and nuts. 



This tonic is known as Indian Ginseng and has been used for over 3,000 years and its name means the strength of ten horses. It is known for its calming effect on the brain and has also been used to improve cognitive function and help memory become sharper. 

It is not a vitamin – Ashwagandha is a non-toxic herb that can have a positive impact on the body and is used for helping to regulate stress during hard times.


Omega-3 Oil

Another traditional supplement for improving memory is commonly known as fish oil, but there are vegan alternatives as it’s Omega 3 Oil, which comes from the algae which are eaten by the fish. 

It is thought that Omega 3 contains fatty acids which can support healthy memory in later life. The oil contains DHA and EPA which are both required for good brain function, and in particular, good memory in later life. 

Research has shown that patients with dementia often have lower levels of omega 3, although it hasn’t been proven as a direct link so far. The Alzheimer’s Society does encourage eating fish to help reduce the risk of dementia, due to this connection.

Adding Omega-3 to your diet is easy through eating more fish but can also be taken as a supplement if needed, and if you either don’t eat fish or don’t like the fishy after taste of the traditional fish oil supplements, you might want to try the algae oil versions instead, which are just as effective. 




While it’s not technically a vitamin, Ginseng is a supplement well known for its properties that help with memory problems. It has been used for centuries across Asia, to help sharpen memories and to help overall wellbeing. Remember, you should always consult your doctor before taking any new supplements as they can sometimes interact with other medications.

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There are many vitamins and other supplements which can help to improve memory levels, helping to support good cognitive function, and ensuring the brain has all the nutrients it needs. 

So, if you are having problems remembering, you might want to think about any of the above supplements, but bear in mind they take time to get into your system and start working, none of them will provide a quick fix.  


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