Stress and Memory

Stress and MemorySome memory loss is considered a mild cognitive impairment, but chronic, long-term stress can have a serious effect on the severity of that memory loss. When you’re exposed to stress, your body releases hormones, including cortisol, which may prevent the brain from remembering new information or even retrieving already stored items.

Excessive stress can actually damage that part of the brain which is central to learning and memory. It’s called the hippocampus, and the problem centers around the continued secretion of corticosteroids or cortisol.

When your body perceives a threat, the adrenal glands release a hormone called adrenalin. If that perceived threat – and a threat can be defined as anything from a life-changing situation to a looming deadline at work – is long-term, your system attacks it by releasing cortisol through the adrenal glands. Cortisol remains in the brain for a longer period of time where it can adversely affect the brain cells.

You might think that improving your memory is pretty much hopeless, short of shutting out all the stress in your life. Cheer up! That’s not the case. Stress has another side effect on the body. Exposure to constant stress literally gobbles up your reserves of the vitamin B-complex vitamins in your system. And while that may sound like more bad news, it really leads us to a solution to stress-induced memory loss.

Research has discovered that simply by supplementing our diets with plenty of B vitamins, we can counter that memory fatigue. The B-complex of vitamins is really a family of eight related nutrients, including Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), folic acid, B12, pantothenic acid, Niacin (B3). B6, and biotin.

Another recent piece of research you might be interested in: Your system has more trouble dealing with stress when it’s low on the B-vitamins.

When it comes to B vitamins and stress, it’s a lot like that proverbial vicious circle. You’re under increased stress at work, let’s say. You body, then, tries to compensate by using more of the B-vitamins. You become dangerously depleted in these nutrients, and your body reacts by managing stress even more poorly, including a sagging memory.

Your brain, just like every other organ in your body, needs to be supplied with plenty of nutrients in order to perform at its peak efficiency. Overexposure to stress depletes your system’s reserves of vitamins. If you find that your memory is failing you and you know that you’ve been dealing with anxiety or stressful situations, consider supplementing your diet with some B-vitamins. You may find it’s just that easy to have a great memory again.

 

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Comments

  1. Dan says

    It’s almost like it’s cool to be stressed and busy these days. The way people are always stressed and working 24/7 there’s no telling what kind of effects this could have on people’s health.

  2. Fellymia says

    Wonderful research, it is really important that we should take good care all parts of our body especially our brain since the brain is the source of what we are doing. It is important that we should nourish our brain with nutrients so that our memory will become sharper as we grow old. It is not easy to avoid stress especially if you encounter it everyday, so it is important that you know how to take care of your health.

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  1. [...] to monitor for them is to be sure they drink plenty of water…” Denise Harris presents Stress and Memory posted at Able Mart, saying, “Excessive stress can actually damage that part of the brain [...]

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