While many people may believe that a decline in cognitive skills and memory is just part of the natural aging process, that isn’t the case. Often, mental decline can be the result of small amounts of damage to the brain, which add up to noticeable mental impairments over time. And, while a dementia diagnosis can seem daunting, many people live well for years following their diagnosis. In the hopes of preventing the onset and progression of dementia, people often turn to natural remedies, including vitamins. Given that deficiencies can be a cause of dementia, it makes sense that supplementing is a popular complimentary treatment choice. Older folks tend to have less vitamins and minerals available in their body so supplementation can help restore healthy levels. However, if you are considering adding vitamin or mineral supplements to your daily routine, discuss it with your doctor to ensure that there are no potential interactions with health conditions or medications
SUPPLEMENTS FOR BATTLING DEMENTIA
Vitamins E and C Research shows that those who eat a diet rich in vitamins C and E have a 20-25% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, vitamin E and C levels are often low in people with dementia. For those in the early stages of dementia, supplementing with vitamin E on a daily basis has been shown to slow the progression of the disease.
Vitamin D While vitamin D deficiency hasn’t yet been found to be a direct cause of dementia, research shows there is a strong link between the two. Supplementing with this essential vitamin may improve overall health and well-being. It also has benefits to the skeletal and cardiovascular system.
Zinc The University of Maryland Medical Center found that daily supplementation of 30 mg to 40 mg of zinc daily could help improve cognitive function and memory of those suffering from dementia. Zinc deficiency is common among older adults.
Vitamin B1 Studies have shown a daily dose of 50 mg of vitamin B1 to be effective in preventing the progression of dementia, as well as in helping maintain neuron and nerve connections.
Vitamin B6 Like vitamin B1, B6 helps improve nerve and brain function, as well as red cell production. Research shows that taking a combination of vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid over a two-year period helps to slow brain volume shrinkage. Patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease often have lower brain volume than healthy individuals.
Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Research out of Rush University Medical Center shows that supplementing with 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12, and 400 mcg to 1,000 mcg of folic acid daily, reduced levels of a potentially harmful amino acid found in thebrains of dementia patients.
Panax Ginseng Research finds that people with Alzheimer's disease who take panax ginseng root daily for 12 weeks have improved mental performance.
Phosphatidylserine According to the University of Michigan Health, this naturally occurring brain compound helps to boost certain levels of chemicals crucial for retaining and processing memories. There are both plant and animal sources available, with animal-sourced phosphatidylserine being more effective.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementing with this essential fatty acid is a good idea at any age, but especially for aging persons. Studies show that those who regularly supplement with omega-3s perform better on cognitive and memory tasks versus those who receive a placebo.
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, ensuring that the body has adequate levels of essential nutrients may help to ward off disease and improve well-being. Come in and let us help you find a good multivitamin/mineral to cover the basics and a brain health formula to help keep your mind sharp and your memory whole. We are here and happy to help you find what you need. Be sure to discuss any plans for taking supplements with your healthcare provider to avoid potential contraindications.