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Brain Fog

Unlocking mental clarity | Understanding brain fog,
Boosting cognition, and exploring Nootropics

As we age, maintaining sharp cognitive function becomes increasingly important and is also something many of us fear, for good reason. 

Brain fog is often described as mental fatigue or confusion.

Brain Fog Scale

Common symptoms

Symptoms include forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, thinking more slowly than usual, lost words, and a sense of mental fatigue. Sound familiar?

For middle-aged and older men, factors such as stress, anxiety, lack of, or poor sleep, medical conditions, and even some medications can contribute to brain fog. On a cellular level brain fog is believed to be caused by high levels of inflammation and changes to hormones that determine your energy and focus.


Conditions associated with brain fog can include:

Anaemia Depression
Diabetes Migraines
Alzheimer's disease Hypothyroidism
Autoimmune diseases Concussion
Nutrient deficiency Obesity

and more...


Understand the root causes of brain fog, it's essential.

Brain Fog - The Basics

Possible contributors can include:

  1. Lack of, or poor sleep.
  2. Stress and anxiety
  3. Diet - Poor dietary choices deprive the brain of essential nutrients.
  4. Hormonal changes
  5. Medical conditions

Looking after Brain Fog

Start with these.

  1. Get some rest, at least 8 hours a night.
  2. Drink alcohol and coffee in moderation
  3. Exercise
  4. Learn, and do brain games.
  5. Eat right! (Learn more about protein)


Low nutrient levels can be a cause, and supplements may be beneficial. Evidence-based supplements include:

  • Vitamin B (1), (2)
    Low or deficient levels of certain B vitamins can lead to symptoms of brain fog. 
  • Vitamin C (3), (4)
    Low levels can affect mood and also be linked to depression and cognitive impairment; The study showed those with adequate levels performed better than those with low levels.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may improve some aspects of cognitive health and thus reduce brain fog. 
  • Vitamin B Complex: B vitamins are crucial for energy metabolism and brain function.
  • Vitamin D (5), (6)
    Low or deficient levels can impact cognitive help and impact brain fog symptoms. People with depression are also likely to be deficient. and can thus help alleviate depressive symptoms. Evidence supports a relationship between Vut D and depression but there are gaps in the research.
  • Magnesium (7) ,(8
    Many do not get enough in their diet. Low levels are also common in those who are stressed and can increase susceptibility to stress.
  • L theanine (9), (10)
    Studies suggest the supplement may improve mental alertness and reaction time. Also, may help reduce stress and enhance sleep. May reduce brain fog symptoms and help reduce stress.
Find more on potential supplements. The bottom line, if you are deficient, you may be affected. If not, then supplements may not be the answer.


    Nootropics, also known as "smart drugs" or cognitive enhancers. Substances are believed to boost cognitive performance.

    Research is ongoing, some popular and common examples of nootropics and their reported uses include:

    1. Caffeine - Alertness and focus
    2. L-Theanine - Reduces -ve effects of caffeine, +ve Attention.
    3. Bacopa monnieri - Memory.
    4. Creatine - Cognitive performance
    5. Gingko biloba - Memory and anxiety
    6. Tyrosine - Creativity
    7. St Johns Wort - Depression
    8. Piracetam - Memory and learning
    9. Ashwagandha - Stress & Anxiety
    10. Curcumin - age-related cognition and mood disorders

    Other strategies

    Beyond supplements and nootropics, consider the following and find what works for you:

    • Mindfulness: Practices that reduce stress and improve focus.
    • Diet: Nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods supports brain health.
    • Sleep: Prioritise quality sleep to recharge and improve cognitive function.
    • Get social: Interact with others, stimulates the brain.
    • Brain games: Stimulate the brain.

    Consider this

    Brain fog is a challenge that can be addressed through lifestyle changes, targeted supplements, and the exploration of nootropics.

    Remember each individual's needs, diets and lifestyles are unique, so it's important to assess what may work for you and to consult with a healthcare professional before introducing any new supplements or nootropics into your routine.

    Try to embrace a more holistic approach to mental wellness, incorporating physical activity, mindfulness, and a balanced diet. 


    Disclaimer: The information provided by Old Bull Health in this article is for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Our content is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and thus reliance should not be placed on it. If you are experiencing persistent brain fog or cognitive challenges, please consult a healthcare professional to determine the underlying causes and appropriate solutions.

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