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The ability to remember things currently being done (working memory) recently learned (short term) and possible for life (long term memory); some compounds enhance memory by reversing states of neural malaise (Fish Oil, Curcumin) whereas some can increase memory unilaterally (Bacopa Monnieri).

Research analysis lead by Kamal Patel
All content reviewed by Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect memory
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Ginkgo biloba Minor High See all 12 studies
There appears to be a fairly reliable increase in short term memory and free recall associated with ginkgo supplementation in older individuals (55yrs or above) either with or without diagnosed neurodegenerative disease states.
grade-b Bacopa monnieri Notable High See all 8 studies
Although general and requiring a long time to take effect (4-6 weeks), bacopa appears to reliably and effectively improve memory in both healthy persons and during cognitive decline
grade-b Melissa officinalis Minor High See all 3 studies
Mixed influences on memory, with one study noting a decrease in 'total' memory formation and two studies noting improvements in 'quality' of memories formed. There is likely a modulatory effect associated with lemon balm.
grade-b Caffeine  
grade-c PRL-8-53  
grade-c Blueberry  
grade-c CDP-choline  
grade-c Fish Oil  
grade-c Ginger  
grade-c Melatonin  
grade-c Modafinil  
grade-c Nicotine  
grade-c Nigella sativa  
grade-c Oxiracetam  
grade-c Phosphatidylserine  
grade-c Piracetam  
grade-c Red Clover Extract  
grade-c S-Adenosyl Methionine  
grade-c Vinpocetine  
grade-c Black Cohosh  
grade-c Choline  
grade-c Chromium  
grade-c Cocoa Extract  
grade-c Creatine  
grade-c Marijuana  
grade-c Polygala tenuifolia  
grade-c Sceletium tortuosum  
grade-c Vitamin E  
grade-d Pramiracetam  
grade-d Peppermint  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.