Dementia is a disease that’s still a mystery in many ways. But research shows that taking certain vitamins supplements may help preserve cognitive functioning to possibly slow down the disease.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s research is in full-force with aging baby boomers reaching senior status in record numbers. While the disease has been around as long as mankind, with people living longer these days—and with the growing 65+ population—figuring out how to treat, and possibly, even cure the disease, is crucial.
What causes dementia? Well, as we age, brain cells don’t function normally and often become damaged, causing memory loss, impaired speech, behavioral problems, mental confusion and even the inability to manage normal, daily activities—such as dressing, bathing, eating and hygiene responsibilities. Dementia causes heartache and stress in families as loved ones digress as the disease takes over their cognitive functioning as well as their uniquely human human traits and personalities.
If you are a caregiver whose family has been afflicted by dementia, you know it is a tragic disease where strangers reside in loved ones’ bodies. And caring for—or finding appropriate care for—loved ones, while dealing with the emotional toll, can be a challenging. So what if you can help preserve cognitive functioning? Well new research shows that certain Vitamins may actually help prevent dementia.
Below are a few “super-Vitamins” (that, really, aren’t super, they’re just not as prevalent in aging bodies) that may help prevent dementia…
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, taking 50 mg of vitamin B1 daily can help treat dementia. Cholinergic neurons are responsible for nerve transmissions in part of the brain and tend to deteriorate in elderly individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The University of Michigan Health System studies show that Vitamin B1 helps support certain enzymes and cholinergic neurons, so taking the vitamin may help slow the progression of the disease. In fact, in two double-blind trials at U of Michigan, supplementing with Vitamin B1 showed significant benefits in the mental functioning of Alzheimer’s patients.
Antioxidant supplements, such as Vitamin E have been shown to not only slow down the progression of dementia, but also protect older adults from developing dementia, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Studies have shown that older adults who have higher levels of Vitamin E in their blood, tend to have improved brain function. And the recommended dosage? The University of Maryland advises taking 400 to 800 IU per day of Vitamin E, as well as other antioxidant vitamins, such as Coenzyme Q10. This basically helps to improve oxygen delivery to the brain.
This vitamin has not only a big pronunciation, it also can have a big impact on treating dementia symptoms, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Apparently, phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring compound in the brain that helps to boost levels of certain chemicals that enable the brain to process and retain memories. Different forms of phosphatidylserine supplements are available, mainly those that are derived from plant sources and those made from bovine brain phospholipids. According to U of Michigan medical studies, “Phosphatidylsine supplements made from plant sources aren’t as effective as the bovine forms.” The University of Maryland recommends taking 100 mg of phosphatidylserine 3 times daily to help treat dementia.
Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
People who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often deficient in Vitamin B12 and folic acid. According to the Rush University Medical Center, these two supplements can help lower the levels of an amino acid in the blood that is often linked to dementia. 100 mcg to 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12, and 400 mcg to 1,000 mcg of folic acid each day is recommended.
Most of the elderly population is deficient in zinc. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, those who take the supplement can help improve both their memory and cognitive functioning. The recommended dosage is 30 mg to 40 mg per day of zinc to help improve brain function in people with dementia.
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