Supplements that May Delay Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a form of dementia that gradually causes progressive memory loss. It also impairs judgment and decision-making and even affects language, orientation and other normal everyday functions.

Researchers have found that the brains of those suffering from AD are affected by plaque formations and tangles which prevent the neurons from working properly and they eventually die. When this damage spreads to the hippocampus, which is the main part of our memory, it causes memory loss typical of Alzheimer's disease.

As yet there is no cure for Alzheimer's but the many studies into the disease have produced some interesting results from the use of natural vitamins and memory loss supplements. Here are just a few of the study results:

B Vitamin and Alzheimer's'

A recently published trial on 168 elderly patients who had mild cognitive impairment showed encouraging mental benefits from B vitamins. Patients were either given a combination of folic acid, vitamin B12 and B6, or a placebo. At the end of the trial the patients taking B vitamin supplements showed 30% less brain shrinkage and a reduction in the rate their brain atrophied.

B vitamins are already known to affect homocysteine metabolism and the study suggests that B vitamins may slow the progression of Alzheimer's and protect against the deterioration of the brain as part of the aging process.

Another form of B vitamin, citicoline, is known to provide choline and cytidine to the brain which helps generate phospholipids. Researchers believe that citicoline may improve memory and learning and reduce the damage caused by neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Vitamin E and Alzheimer's

Vitamin E is an oxidant that helps neutralize the free radicals in the body. It is also thought to protect the nerve cells in the brain. A Netherlands-based study of 5,395 participants over the age of 55 was studied for signs of dementia. The patients were given vitamin E supplements in various doses.

During the 9-year period, 465 patients were diagnosed as developing dementia, and 365 of them had Alzheimer's disease. The study found that those in the group which took the highest intake of vitamin E were 25% less likely to develop dementia than those on the lowest dose of vitamin E.

Curcumin and Alzheimer's

Curcumin is an ancient spice known as turmeric which is widely used in Asian cuisine. It is already widely used in natural medicine to reduce inflammation and neuro-degeneration. A trial examined the effects of curcumin on plaque deposits and protein oxidation in the brain, which are known to be present in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers. The trial also tested whether the more stable metabolite tetrahydro-curcumin (TC) could boost the positive effect.

Both curcumin and TC were administered to aged mice. The results showed that while the TC metabolite had no impact on the plaque and insoluble Abeta in the mice brains, curcumin was effective in reducing the amyloid plaque deposits, carbonyls and insoluble Abeta.

Antioxidants and Alzheimer's

Antioxidants are widely hailed in the natural health world as reducing oxidation that may cause cell death both throughout the body and in the brain. Pomegranate is an excellent source of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. Mice at the Loma Linda University of California were fed on pomegranate juice as part of the university's research. They were found to learn maze tests more quickly and showed a 50% less accumulation of Abeta42 and amyloid deposits than the control group of mice.

All these vitamins are known to have all manner of health benefits when taken in moderation. It could also be worth taking them to improve memory and possibly delay Alzheimer's, although those on medications should consult their doctor first to avoid any drug interaction.

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