Help! I’ve got a case of “perimenopause brain!” Since turning 43 I’ve noticed that my memory and focus aren’t what they used to be. It takes me twice as long to prepare reports and presentations—not good when there are 25-year-olds chomping at the bit for my job. I’ve heard about all kinds of brain-boosting supplements, but they’re usually very expensive. Is there another way to help me stay at the top of my game?
Yes, shore up on vitamin D. Research reveals that D has a protective and rejuvenating effect on brain cells, speeding information processing and boosting attention among middle-aged subjects. Vitamin D also helps the body synthesize more of the female hormone progesterone, offsetting the age-related dips that cause mental slowdowns. I believe the RDA of 400 IU is too low, so aim for 1,000 to 4,000 IU (a perfectly safe amount) by eating at least three weekly servings of D-rich foods such as tuna and sardines and taking a daily supplement like Nature Made Vitamin D 1,000 IU ($20 for 300 tablets, at drugstores).