How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Through Nutrition? Supplements to prevent dementia

When we talk about supplements to prevent dementia, we mean to say that proper nutrition may have a more significant role in delaying Alzheimer’s and dementia onset than we generally assume.

Due to the fact that after the age of 65, the risk of Alzheimer’s diagnosis doubled, adopting different ways to prevent the disease became more prominent. In this regard, several scientific researchers focused on using supplements to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s

The scientists claimed that regular consumption of some specific supplements and certain food and vegetables could retard Alzheimer’s onset. This article introduces some supplements that can help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

This is the topic we will be covering in this article: preventing or slowing down dementia with the help of supplements. 

Supplements to prevent dementia

Supplements to Prevent Dementia

Although there’s no certainty in saying that any particular nutritional components and supplements prevent Alzheimer’s, some evidence shows that dietary regimens and nutritional supplements can delay the onset of the disease. Here we introduce some essential supplements to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamins 

As humans, our bodies need 13 essential vitamins to function normally. Some of these vitamins play an important role in chemical reactions in the brain. The most critical vitamin deficiencies potentially leading to worsening dementia symptoms are vitamins B, D, and C. As dementia progresses and comes with nutritional deficiencies, it is vital to ensure you consume enough of these vitamins for your brain health. This vitamins to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin B Complex and Folic Acid for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins that includes vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12. In this group, vitamins B6, B12, and folate (or its stable form, folic acid) are specifically crucial since research shows that both can slow down the effects of dementia. 

More precisely, scientific studies showed that vitamin B complex vitamins affect specific genes contributing to cognitive impairment. Adequate folate or folic acid and vitamins B in diet or as a supplement can enhance the genes and inhibits the cognitive impairment and the progress of dementia.

There are no reports of adverse effects associated with excessive vitamin B12 and B6 in healthy individuals. However, vitamin B12 can potentially interact with specific medications, and some medicines like chloramphenicol and metformin also can adversely affect the vitamin B12 level in the body. In addition, consuming 1 to 6 g pyridoxine per day for 12 to 40 months may lead to severe and progressive sensory neuropathy (loss of control of body movements). Other excessive vitamin effects include pain, disfiguring, photosensitivity, and gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and heartburn.

Vitamin C

No one can deny the importance of vitamin C for the human body. It can act as an antioxidant to fight harmful substances in the body and promote metabolism and the immune system. A group of scientists experimented with the effects of consuming vitamin C and dementia disease

They reported that since oxidative stress has a prominent role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, daily intake of vitamin C as an antioxidant in individuals with mild dementia may prevent the onset of dementia. 

You can take vitamin C by consuming fresh vegetables or use vitamin C supplements in the form of capsules and tablets. Taking a dose of 2000 mg of vitamin C per day can be helpful to see its benefits.

Vitamin D

Several studies showed that people with Alzheimer’s disease have low vitamin D levels, and a very low level of this vitamin causes them to be twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin D is a hormone processor essential for brain health, and its deficiency can relate to an increased risk of dementia and stroke. In a study, scientists found that the risk of dementia in people with 25 nmol/L of vitamin D in their blood (a low amount of the vitamin) is higher than in people with a normal vitamin D level (50 nmol/L).
Vitamin D contributes to precognitive and neuroprotective functions and reduction of like amyloid plaques, Alzheimer’s biomarkers.
You can take vitamin D from food, absorbing through exposure to sunlight, or consuming supplements. Food sources rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, tuna fish, red meat, and egg yolk, and the daily recommended vitamin D dose is 20 µg. The excessive vitamin D in the body may cause too much calcium to build up (hypercalcemia), weakening bones and damaging the kidneys and heart.

Vitamin D

Natural Remedies for Dementia

As mentioned earlier, your diet is critical to brain health, and the prevention of Alzheimer’s can start with the foods you consume.

Fish Oil for Dementia Prevention

Fish and fish oil containing omega-3 may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 is fat in oily fishes such as mackerel, tuna, herring, and salmon. Brain cell membranes with a high level of omega-3 can more effectively communicate with other cells. However, in general, after absorption of omega-3 molecules in the body, it is broken down into molecules that:

  1. reduce the body’s immune response. 
  2. protect cells from harmful processes (oxidative stress)
  3. contribute to cell membranes in the brain.

Studies showed a mixed result regarding omega-3. A research study on consuming omega-3 and cognitive impairment in older adults showed that a higher intake of omega-3 could lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and fetal coronary heart disease. 

Also, a high level of omega-3 in the brain cells could significantly reduce beta amyloids, plaques, and tau (Alzheimer’s biomarkers) in Alzheimer’s disease models. 

Another study suggested that consuming omega-3 and EPA (a kind of beneficial fatty acid) showed a positive effect in individuals with mild or age-related cognitive impairment. On the other hand, these supplements in individuals with established Alzheimer’s disease had no impact. 

Some scientists believe this study needs more time to show the positive effect of omega-3 on the human body. In general, there is more evidence-based recommendation on fish and fish oil intake to promote memory function during old ages.

Omega 3

Ginkgo Biloba for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Ginko Biloba is a plant native to China. For centuries people have used this plant as food and traditional medicine. The extract of aerial parts of this plant contains bioactive compounds which are beneficial for body functions. 

However, there are controversial results for the ginkgo Biloba effect on dementia patients. Some scientific reports and analyses indicate that ginkgo Biloba extract is ineffective for dementia. But a systematic review study in 2016 reported that ginkgo Biloba could potentially be beneficial for enhancing cognitive function and activities for daily living in people with mild cognitive impairments or Alzheimer’s disease. 

Another systematic review also showed that consuming 240 mg of the ginkgo Biloba product (EGb-761) per day could stabilize or slow the decline in cognition, function, and behaviour in individuals with cognitive impairment and dementia, especially people with neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Keep in mind that excessive ginkgo Biloba supplement may result in headaches, nausea, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, dizziness, allergic skin reaction, and in severe conditions, it can increase the risk of bleeding.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a well-known spice with a wide range of health benefits. Evidence suggests that cinnamon has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and can positively affect Alzheimer’s disease through gene expression. In addition, cinnamon extract can significantly and safely inhibit tau protein accumulation and beta-amyloid aggregation in brain cells. Cinnamon may also have a protective effect on healthy energy metabolism in the brain.

Turmeric

Turmeric and its main bioactive component, curcumin, have a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect on the human body, directly affecting amyloid aggregation and decreasing brain plaques. This spice has been used in traditional medicine in India for thousands of years. The results of preclinical studies in 2019 showed the beneficial effect of curcumin on cognition in Alzheimer’s disease. 

In addition, curcumin may prevent cognitive decline in healthy populations. In another analysis on 96 healthy older adults, scientists found that curcumin had a limited influence on cognitive function, mood, and general quality of life over 12 months. Curcumin is considered safe for most adults. However, high dose consumption and long-term use may lead to problems like indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea.

Other Nutritional Supplements to Prevent Dementia

Research shows that people with Alzheimer’s may face an increased risk of nutrition deficiencies. The clinical studies showed that the following nutrients can potentially protect the brain and nervous system or may even help to regrow new nerve cells.

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is a critical amino acid for brain health, and some research shows that people with dementia have difficulty absorbing tryptophan. The low tryptophan level in the body may cause trouble with memory and impaired cognitive function in dementia patients.
It is noteworthy that the body also uses tryptophan to build serotonin, a neurotransmitter, and melatonin, an asleep cycle hormone; therefore, tryptophan is essential for a healthy mental state. Foods that contain tryptophan include cheese, chicken, egg whites, fish milk, etc.

Acetyl L-Carnitine and Acetylcholine

This compound act as a processor of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine in the body is used as a chemical compound to communicate between brain cells and has an essential role in working memory. So, its deficiency may be related to dementia. Findings showed that people with dementia have significant deficiencies in tryptophan, fatty acids, and acetylcholine levels. Foods enriched in carnitine include beef, chicken, milk, cheese, etc.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in body function and the nervous system. This mineral can improve dementia symptoms, reduce anxiety, and increase sleep quality. Magnesium is present in various nutrients, including dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, etc.

Probiotics Supplements

Probiotic is a group of microbes that play an essential role in the human body. These microbes help the body properly absorb the nutrients. According to clinical research, this influences cognitive health and helps with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The presence of these microflorae may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Probiotics are found in yogurt, kefir, sauerkrauts, kimchi, sourdough bread, and some cheeses.

Final Words

While the possibility of preventing Alzheimer’s with supplements is still the subject of negotiation among many researchers and experts, one thing is certain. Supplements help you stay healthy. And a healthy mind belongs to a healthy body. Please note that we’re not suggesting that supplements can miraculously destroy all chances of developing dementia. All we’re saying is that they can help you stay healthy for as long as possible since they help delay or slow down the development of Alzheimer’s.

Source National Institute of Health
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