Ribose, a natural simple sugar, plays a key role in metabolism.“Anything that improves energy production in the cells helps brain cells,” Dr. Teitelbaum says.Specifically, ribose is a component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), considered the body’s energy molecule. ATP helps the body use key nutrients, such as vitamin B1, that are necessary for proper brain function, he says.Ribose improved mental clarity an average of 30% in 203 patients after three weeks of use, according to a 2012 study published in The Open Pain Journal. It also increased energy an average of 61%, says Dr. Teitelbaum, one of the study’s lead researchers.
Participants also reported a 37% increase in overall wellbeing, a 29% improvement in sleep, and 15% decrease in pain.
Try it: Take 5 grams (g) of ribose three times a day (15 grams total) for three weeks.
Then drop it to 5 g twice a day, “although you may find that 3 g twice a day is enough to prevent mental cloudiness,” Dr. Teitelbaum says.
Besides ribose, other supplements can help ease fibromyalgia symptoms.
3. Fibro fog lifter: Exercise.
Working out can physically grow your brain. Exercise increases the right and left sides of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory, according to a 2011 University of Illinois study.
“The increased blood flow that occurs when our heart pumps faster enhances concentration, learning and memory,” says Marie Pasinski, M.D., staff neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, faculty member at Harvard Medical School and author of Beautiful Brain, Beautiful You(Hyperion).
Try it: Start slow, suggests the Mayo Clinic — perhaps just 10 minutes of walking a day, gradually working up to 30 or 60 minutes.