By Dr. Pater Kadile

Dr. Kadile, are there any supplements that might help with memory?
– Cristina, Indio

Cristina, a recent study involving 1,200 participants showed that over two years  that those with lower vitamin D levels showed significant indications of cognitive decline. Vitamin D is thought to protect against the loss and damage of brain neurons.

Omega 3 fatty acids which can be found in fish oil supplements have also been shown to help with memory.  A recent study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicate better location recall among older men and women who supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has beneficial effects on nerve cell membranes and nerve transmissions involved in memory and learning.

Regular exercise, especially resistance exercise or weight training, can enhance memory and brain function.

Hey Doc, I have cramps in my legs at night. I take potassium for them but the cramps still continue. Can I take anything else?
-Robert, DHS

Robert, if you are taking prescription medication, muscle cramping may be a side effect and you should check with your doctor. If you aren’t on any medications, then you should try supplementing with magnesium, 300-400mg a day. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramping. Recent research has also found that magnesium intake may reduce pancreatic cancer risk.

Dr. K, why do I have to fast before having my labs drawn?
-Michael, La Quinta

Michael, unless specifically instructed by your doctor, you don’t have to fast (not eat 8-12 hours before a lab draw).  Lab results should reflect what your body is doing under normal conditions and your body is not normally fasting for 8-12 hours. Studies have shown that even cholesterol levels aren’t significantly changed in most people based on when their lab is drawn. I generally recommend you have blood drawn 2-6 hours after a regular meal.