Supplements that prevent dementia

Scientists have studied people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which can often progress to dementia, to prove that a combination of natural supplements could drastically reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. It consisted of 266 participants, aged 70 years and over, who had been diagnosed with MCI. Participants were randomly given either B vitamins (folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12) or a placebo over a period of two years.

Past studies showed that B-vitamins could help slow down or prevent brain atrophy. But in these same studies, the positive effects seemed to occur more frequently with people who had higher omega-3 levels. So they set out to see how Omega-3 and B vitamins might be combined to help prevent cognitive decline.

According to the report:

…when omega-3 fatty acid levels are in the upper range of normal, the slowing effects of B vitamins on both brain atrophy and cognitive decline are enhanced. We suggest that the effects of this interaction between the two nutrients on brain atrophy and cognition is consistent with the view that they slow down the disease process in MCI.

“These results help us to tease apart who could benefit from taking B vitamins, suggesting that they might only improve cognition in people who have high levels of Omega-3 oils in their blood,” said Dr Doug Brown, the Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society. “Encouragingly, these findings suggest that for some older people a combination of fish oil supplements and B vitamins may help to improve thinking and memory. As this study shows, the relationship between nutrition and brain health is complex and we need to see increased research efforts to help us understand the role that diet and nutrition can play in reducing a person’s risk of dementia.”

Although this evidence to support the use of natural supplements is promising, there are always some risks involved, so you should first consult a health professional for advice.

Do you already take any of these supplements?

Read the full report
Read more at PsyBlog

Related articles:
10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s
Dementia drug one step closer
Dementia link to blood sugar levels

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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