Vitamins are essential substances that are required by the body to perform specific functions and to maintain overall health. Recent studies suggest that certain vitamins can improve cognitive function, including memory, as well as reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. The most common vitamins recommended to prevent cognitive decline are B-complex vitamins, specifically B6, B12, and folic acid; antioxidants such as Vitamin E and beta-carotene; zinc; selenium; L-carnitine; and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil.
Understanding the Link Between Vitamin Deficiency and Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are chronic, degenerative diseases that damage brain cells and their connections. Although scientists have found ways to reduce and delay some of these symptoms in animals, they’ve made little progress when it comes to actually stopping or reversing it. This is because they don’t understand enough about how Alzheimer’s and other dementias develop at a molecular level. If scientists can figure out what causes brain cell death in Alzheimer’s patients, for example, then doctors might be able to find a way to stop it before irreparable damage occurs. Without more Alzheimer’s research, however, any treatment for Alzheimer’s will not always work for everyone.
Because of so many different factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s, it’s hard to point fingers at one thing. Doctors and researchers aren’t sure if a single factor causes Alzheimer’s or if it’s several factors that result in brain deterioration. However, one thing doctors do know is that people who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia have lower levels of vitamins and minerals in their brains than those without Alzheimer’s. This could be due to an increased need for these nutrients as they age or because they are suffering from a vitamin deficiency linked to more severe mental decline. Thus, some experts believe that supplementing diet with extra vitamins could help slow down memory loss and protect against the disease.
How to Get the Vitamins You Need
It can be difficult to get all the vitamins you need just from your diet. Add to that the unpredictable eating habits of seniors with dementia and you could have some serious deficiencies. Custom vitamin packs are particularly helpful for people on restricted diets who still want to get all of their vitamins in. Most elderly patients will have certain nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to a worsening of symptoms. Speak to your doctor about what kind of custom vitamin pack would be best for you or your loved one, and try giving it a shot. Since everyone is different, we recommend consulting a doctor about what formula might work best for you. Remember that while vitamins may not cure Alzheimer’s disease, they may be able to improve the quality of life.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet for Cognitive Improvement
Because vitamin deficiency does seem to play such an important part in cognitive decline, nutrition is an important aspect of any treatment plan for Alzheimer’s disease. Although doctors are unsure about how diet affects Alzheimer’s, they know that a poor diet can aggravate symptoms and encourage behaviors like overeating and increased agitation. In order to maintain a healthy diet, certain steps must be taken to ensure proper nutrition throughout treatment.
First, it is important to limit or eliminate foods that are high in sugar or salt; these include processed sugars such as cakes, cookies, ice cream, and sodas as well as salty foods like cheese. Sugar increases insulin levels in the body which can increase confusion, low energy levels, and irritability when blood sugar levels drop again. Salt also increases fluid retention, which can contribute to swelling in people with Alzheimer’s. It is also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and take vitamin supplements each day. Finally, eating a balanced diet will give you more energy so you can stay active during your day-to-day life. This will not only keep you mentally alert but physically fit as well.