by Art Solbrig Published: September 5, 2020

For the last 3 to 4 years, a close friend of mine seemed to be having more and more memory lapses where she would lose track of what she was talking about right in the middle of what she was talking to me about.

The condition seemed to be worsening with time, and my friend went from pausing and regaining her train of thought, to being unable to remember what she had just been talking about. She would often say, “I can’t remember what I was thinking or going to say!”

I also noticed that if we watched a movie together and I were to ask her any specifics about the film a day or two later, she could not remember much if anything about the movie.

A couple of other issues she was having were when she was doing research online, she had to write down what she wanted to search for on Google. Otherwise, by the time she went to enter her search on Google, she would forget what she wanted to search for. This was happening with increasing frequency.

Another issue was going into another room to get something, only to forget what she was going to get. This is a common issue that you can have and not mean that your memory is declining, but in her case, these events were increasing to almost always.

This started occurring with greater frequency and I felt terrible for her and hesitated to ever mention it to her for the first 2 to 3 years or so because that can be an awkward conversation to have with a close friend or anyone for that matter! By the third year, I finally decided that I better throw caution to the wind because letting a memory deficit go for too long may get to the point of “no return,” and I definitely didn’t want that for my friend!

From what I have seen and learned, I think the best chance of reversing a situation like this is to attack the problem as early as possible, but easier said than done sometimes.

So I did eventually have that conversation with her, and it actually went reasonably well.

I asked her if she realized that her memory had been worsening for quite a while, and she told me, yes, that she realized she was having more and more “senior moments” and in remembering things in general and said she really didn’t understand why. I asked her if she would be interested in seeing if she could improve the situation because once it starts like this, it generally continues to worsen. The available meds are not very effective for the purpose of improving memory longer term!

I asked her if her doctor had brought the subject up with her, and she told me no, her doctor had never mentioned it to her. She had never mentioned it to her doctor, which means she was never diagnosed with a possible cause for her memory issues.

I was very clear with her and reminded her that it had taken her over 75 years to get to this point, and any improvements would not happen overnight. She should figure on allowing at least a year to see any noticeable or significant benefits at best.

So we met again, and I suggested that since I was thinking of multiple supplements for her situation, it might be best to start with one at a time so she would be able to first make sure she could tolerate the supplement and to see if it was helpful for her or not. She had other health issues, so I started her with a supplement that might also be helpful for her other health issues and memory, had a good safety profile, and was readily available at a reasonable cost. I told her that this process may require more than the label suggested dosing in some cases, and I asked her if she would be comfortable doing that, and she said yes as long as it did not cause her any problems.

Amla Extract Capsules

So the first supplement I suggested she start with was Amla Extract capsules.

I chose this because Amla has shown potential in multiple studies to have a beneficial effect on many of her existing health issues such as pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and memory problems.

I explained that just because it has shown benefit for these common health issues, it may not work out that way for her because we are all different, and like the studies, some people got more benefits than others.

Amla Berry Studies for Memory Loss

Here are some studies regarding Amla and memory, dementia, other health issues, or AD:

She started on Amla Extract immediately at the lowest dose used in a couple of studies.

I told her that we would start by seeing if she tolerated Amla at that dose and that if she did, she could then consider increasing her dose toward the highest dosing used in the studies that I showed her, and everything went well.

Hence, she went up to the higher dosing, and I told her that as soon as she determined that she was tolerating the higher dose well, we could consider adding another supplement to her regimen. She settled on 1,150 mg/day.

My friend reported no problems with Amla Extract, and so we moved on to the next supplement, vitamin D-3.

I should mention here that although I had 15 supplements in mind for her particular situation, I was going to try and limit her to about 5 of the 15 possible supplements that I had picked for her to consider, taking 15 supplements every day can end up with compliance issues and side effects.

I wanted to try my best to make sure that compliance would not be an issue for her.

Another issue that can happen with 15 supplements is a negative interaction between supplements. The advantage of having 15 supplements to choose from is that if one is not tolerated well, you can substitute one of the 10 remaining supplements for the offending one.

Vitamin D3

She added vitamin D-3 at high dosing of 5,000 IU per day, and she gave it a month to make sure she could tolerate that dose, which she did. I told her it would be a good idea to have her doctor check her 25 OH d level regularly as I told her to shoot for the upper half of the reference range ( 30~ 100 ng/ml) and she could adjust her dose as needed to get there in conjunction with regular testing by her doctor.

Research Studies

Here are a few links suggesting that vitamin D may be useful for memory, AD, and dementia:

Lithium Orotate

Next, I told her about possibly adding another supplement with little science behind it in terms of memory improvement. Still, it has fairly significant anecdotal evidence, and that supplement is Lithium Orotate at a very low dose of less than 21 mg/day.

Again, a good safety profile at this very low dose range compared to prescription-strength Lithium, which doesn’t have a very good safety profile.

After discussing it with her, she agreed to start a very low dose lithium orotate immediately at 5 mg/day.

As with the other supplements, she tolerated it well with no apparent problems. She agreed that if it appeared that she needed to do more to improve her memory, she would consider going as high as 20 mg/day if needed, but she has remained at the 5 mg dose/day.


After about another month of testing to see if she would tolerate these three supplements together, she said she was open to the next supplements now as she had not observed any issues with the three supplements she was taking.

Based on her input and her desire to get to the next supplement, she started on the popular supplement Vinpocetine which studies suggest may be of benefit for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and is used for this purpose in other countries.

Studies show 30 mg/day as a good dose, and she started at 30 mg/day. Here is a link to two studies suggesting that Vinpocetine may be useful for the purpose :

The following Vinpocetine human study is interesting because, to me, it highlights that there is a possible “point of no return” in dementia patients as I alluded to earlier in this post :

She encountered no problems with Vinpocetine’s addition, so she said she was ready to consider the fifth supplement at that time.


So we met again and discussed adding Melatonin to the mix at 10 to 20 mg/night one hour before bedtime.

In studies, Melatonin has shown benefit for AD and PD, has a very good safety profile, is readily available, and is very reasonably priced.

I would like to say that at this point, it was becoming clear that her memory was definitely improving before the addition of Melatonin and though she still had these senior moments/memory lapses, they were becoming far and few between.

For example, before she started this regimen, whenever she would visit, it was common for her to have at least 6 of these memory issues where she would just give up trying to remember what she had wanted to say. Now she might have one episode per visit, and with a little mental effort, she could get herself back on track and continue the conversation!

She started at 10mg of Melatonin per night one hour before bed with the idea that she could go up to 20 mg/night or more if she felt she needed more memory improvement.


Although I had told her 5 supplements, I ended up telling her about Lecithin for one of her other health issues, which she added to her regimen with no problems and is taking the 6 supplements with no side effects other than improved memory and health!

It would have been 5 supplements for the memory issue alone, though, so I am not counting Lecithin as part of the regimen. While a study or two has suggested that Lecithin may offer benefit for dementia, the majority of studies do not, so I consider the evidence for this use of Lecithin to be too weak to consider it for this purpose.

Memory Loss Issue Gone After 1 Year

About a month later, and just over a year since she first started with the Amla Extract, her memory is what I would consider “normal” and better than some at her current age of 78!

She is now rid of all of her memory deficits and related issues that were readily apparent before and is very happy with all of the improvements she has seen with the addition of these supplements. I am very happy for her as I have seen enough people succumb to dementia / AD or memory issues who only wanted to use what their doctors gave them for their memory issues!

She has been able to get off of Metformin for her pre-diabetes, off of Lisinopril, for her high blood pressure, and she was able to avoid statins which her doctor wanted to put her on.

Yes, she is quite happy now and said she can clearly see the improvement in her memory!

Signs of Progress

I went with her a few months ago as she was going to lease a new car, and it required her to keep up with the fast-talking salesperson who was preparing the lease agreement and trying to sell her upgrade options.

They got to a place where the salesman wanted her to agree to a clause in the contract where she would waive her rights to using her own attorney and instead use an arbitrator if any problems arose with the lease agreement or the car.

She asked the salesman, who pays for the arbitrator, and he said that the dealership would as though that was an expense she wouldn’t have to incur. I didn’t know why she had asked that question, but it soon became apparent as their conversation progressed.

She asked him to remove that clause from the contract, and he told her he couldn’t do it because it is pre-printed in the agreement, and there was no way to remove it. He then said that all customers sign and agree to that clause with no problems.

She answered by saying that she was not going to sign her legal rights away to use her attorney, and she told him that all he had to do was cross that clause out, and they both could then sign as agreement to the removal of the clause.

He said his manager would not allow him to do that, and if she insisted, he would not be able to lease the car to her. I guess he thought she was bluffing and would back down, but she just looked at me and asked if I had time to take her to another dealer who had already agreed to lease her the car that she wanted.

Before I could even say yes, the salesman said, hold on, I think I might know a way to do it, and he simply deleted the clause from the lease agreement! This is not something she would likely have been able to do just a year earlier and was just further proof to me that she was definitely back on track with a very improved memory and all that comes with it! She didn’t stumble once in that meeting!

We watched a movie the other night, and I had to keep getting up to take care of other things, so I was missing a lot of the movie, and I had to keep asking her what I missed, and her recall was impeccable whereas before she would just say, I don’t remember. She was even telling me about movies we had seen months earlier, and she was remembering them better than I was! I may have to give this regimen a test myself!

Finally, I noticed that her skin looks healthier and younger than it did 2 years ago!

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