What Type Of Oil Improves Brain Health And May Prevent Memory Loss
Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimers. Summary: The Mediterranean diet is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia. Now, researchers have identified a specific ingredient that protects against cognitive decline: extra-virgin olive oil.
Costs Of Supplements For Alzheimers / Dementia
The costs of supplements can vary wildly, and because their quality is often unverified, consumers should be careful. Just because a supplement is more expensive, that doesnt mean its better . Consumerlab.com, for instance, found that a quality-verified source of Coenzyme Q10 can be bought for nine cents per day, but other versions of the same supplement are available for 10 times as much.
Reliable Evidence That Supplements Actually Work Is Lacking But Exercise And A Mediterranean
Can taking a pill improve your memory or boost your brain function? Never has one question launched so many health newsletter articlesnot to mention so many purchases online and at the drugstore. “My patients and their families ask a lot about supplements, and I try to point them to whatever evidence we have,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. He also helps to run clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Marshall’s list of supplements that people ask about include B vitamins , antioxidants , herbal supplements , and nutraceuticals . For now, you can cross most of these products off your shopping list for lack of evidence. “There are a lot of things out there for which we have no data on whether they are safe or do anything to help,” Dr. Marshall says.
But there is one bright spot in the dietary approach to preserving the mind with aging. It comes in the form of healthy eating and regular exercise. “My strongest recommendations are a Mediterranean-style diet and regular physical exercise,” Dr. Marshall says. “There’s good evidence from multiple studies showing that these lifestyle modifications can prevent cognitive decline and dementia and also slow down existing cognitive decline.”
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What The Research Tells Us
One systematic review compared people taking vitamins or mineralsspecifically vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, beta-carotene, calcium, zinc, copper, folic acid, selenium, and multivitaminsto people who did not. This review found no evidence that taking vitamins or minerals prevented dementia or cognitive decline among middle-aged or older adults with no signs of existing cognitive decline. Although some studies in the review found that vitamin C and beta-carotene may lead to better overall cognition when taken over the long-term , because these studies were of low-quality, its not clear if the results are trustworthy .
Another systematic review looked at over-the-counter supplementsspecifically vitamins B, C, D, E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, gingko biloba soy, folate, calcium, and multivitaminsand found similar results, that currently there is not enough evidence to support the use of over-the-counter supplements to prevent cognitive decline. This was found for both adults with normal cognition, as well as those with MCI. Its also worth mentioning that two of the studies in this review showed that folic acid and vitamin B12 might improve memory when taken for two years, but again, the studies were of low-quality .
So, where does this leave us?
What About Fish Oil Supplements Which Are Popular Do They Have Any Benefits
Dietary research does show that dementia is less common in people who have a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is contained in fish oil supplements. What’s interesting is studies have not shown benefits from taking supplements. Studies show that a diet high in naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids, what you would get either from deep water fish like salmon or tuna, or conversely from certain types of nuts like walnuts or pecans, is associated with lower risk of dementia. But taking the supplements is not associated with any change in risk of dementia. Fish oil may be helpful, but probably taking the supplement is not.
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Top Vitamins And Minerals For Fighting Dementia
There is no definitive way to prevent dementia. Although, there are precautions that can be taken for prevention. It has been shown that certain vitamins and supplements can help in slowing down dementia.
Large numbers of baby boomers are beginning to reach old age, making dementia at its highest rate ever. People are living longer than ever these days, so its important to figure out how to treat and cure dementia.
Can A Tablet Really Boost Your Memory
Certain vitamins and fatty acids have been said to slow or prevent memory loss. The long list of potential solutions includes vitamins like vitamin B12, herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba, and omega-3 fatty acids. But can a supplement really boost your memory?
Much of the evidence for these potential memory-boosting supplements isnt very strong. Here, we discuss what recent clinical studies have to say about vitamins and memory loss.
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Why Cosmo Is Important
The Cosmo Trial website states, “Cocoa is an ancient fermented product made from the bean of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao. Cocoa products contain catechins and epicatechins, readily water-soluble flavonoids classified as flavanols, a subclass of flavonoids with vascular health benefits. Experimental and clinical studies testing the consumption of cocoa products and cocoa flavanols have noted potential benefits on platelet activation, endothelium-dependent vasodilation, inflammation, blood pressure, and insulin resistance, which may translate into important cardiovascular benefits. COSMOS represents the first large-scale trial in women and men to evaluate the long-term effects of a cocoa extract supplement on cardiovascular health outcomes.
Should You Take A Brain Supplement
What about all those over-the-counter brain supplements that claim theyre proven to benefit your brain? Take those claims with a grain of salt, Smith says.
Supplements are loosely regulated in the U.S., so theres no guarantee they do what they claim to do. The studies done by manufacturers arent always well-designed, Smith says. And some supplements might contain ingredients at doses that could be harmful. They might even be tainted with contaminants like heavy metals that can be dangerous, she adds.
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Brain Health Supplements: Do They Work
Many of the ingredients in brain health supplements have been tied to brain health in some way. But much of the evidence comes from research on food and diet, not supplements, Smith says.
There are more than 25,000 bioactive substances in food, which work together to protect your body including your brain and processes that affect your brain, Smith says. Taking just one or two of those vitamins or chemicals isnt going to be a cure-all.
Still, you might be wondering about the link between common brain booster ingredients and brain health. Heres what the science says.
What The Leaves Say About Ginkgo Biloba
The fan-shaped leaves of the ginkgo tree are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat all kinds of ailments. In the United States, the extract from the leaves is sold as a supplement commonly called ginkgo biloba. One of its main selling points is as a memory enhancer. However, as with other brain health supplements, the science doesn’t support the claims.
One of the largest clinical trials that explored the possible link was the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study. Researchers recruited more than 3,000 older adults, average age 79, 54% of whom were men, with normal cognitive function or mild cognitive impairment. Everyone was given either 120 milligrams of ginkgo or a placebo twice a day for almost six years. The results found that ginkgo biloba did not lower the overall rate of developing dementia.
“Most supplements are not tested rigorously in clinical trials,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, associate medical director at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “However, ginkgo has been tested thoroughly for its potential to prevent dementia, and there is strong evidence that it does not prevent memory decline or dementia and therefore should not be taken for that purpose.”
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How To Shop For Brain Health Supplements
We hope were inspiring you to do some research into which brain health supplements are best for you personally. To help further your research, here are a few questions to ask yourself. First things first, why are you interested in these brain supplements? What are your goals for supplementing your brain function and health? Are you looking to feel more alert? Is your short term memory letting you down so youd like to boost it a bit? Do you hope to stave off dementia and Alzheimers?
*Brain health supplements may help with these things, though you may need to look to different brain supplements for the unique benefits youre focused on. First we recommend learning what to avoid when shopping for a brain supplement in 2021.
Preventing Dementia: Do Vitamin And Mineral Supplements Have A Role
Vitamin and mineral supplements for cognitively healthy peopleThis new Cochrane Review concerns the effects of vitamin and mineral supplements on cognitive function in people with no cognitive problems when they started taking part in the research studies. Although the review authors looked for studies involving people aged 40 and over, there are few data on people taking supplements under the age of 60. Despite being able to include 28 studies involving more than 83,000 people, there are limitations of the evidence which mean that confident conclusions cant be drawn. Heres what they found.B vitamin supplementsTaking B vitamin supplements probably has little or no effect on overall cognitive function at any time point up to five years and may have no effect at five to ten years. There are very few data on harms or on the incidence of cognitive impairment or dementia.
Antioxidant vitamins: ßcarotene, vitamin C or vitamin EThe results are mixed, but the review authors say that long-term supplementation with antioxidant vitamins may be the most promising area for future research. There is low-certainty evidence of benefit in overall cognitive function with long-term supplementation with ßcarotene and with vitamin C , but an antioxidant vitamin combination or vitamin E, alone or with selenium, may have no effect.
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Myth : There Are No Natural Supplements That Actually Benefit People With Alzheimers
You may hear that natural supplements have no benefits from But, when we asked Dacks if theres a supplement that the ADDF is keeping a particularly close eye on, she replied, Souvenaid is a promising cocktail of nutritional supplements with some clinical evidence to suggest that it can benefit Alzheimers patients. Doctors can prescribe it as a medical food in some countries but it is not yet available in the United States.
A recent randomized, controlled study of the effects of Souvenaid in patients with mild Alzheimers showed increased memory performance after periods of both 12 and 24 weeks.
Forget About Those Over
A recent survey found that about 25% of adults over age 50 take a supplement to improve their brain health with the promise of enhanced memory and sharper attention and focus.
The problem? There’s no solid proof any of them work.
“The main issue with all over-the-counter supplements is lack of regulation,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, associate medical director at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “The FDA doesn’t oversee product testing or ingredient accuracy they just look out for supplements that make health claims related to the treatment of specific diseases.”
In terms of brain health, this means a supplement manufacturer can claim a product helps with mental alertness or memory loss but not that it protects against or improves dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. “This way manufacturers don’t have to back up any claim that their product is effective or even safe,” says Dr. Marshall.
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Nourishing Your Brain Health Through Your Diet
Scientific research tells us that nutrition is the secret to brain health. And studies tell us that more than 90 percent of Americans dont get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals they need from their daily diet. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, across almost every age range, Americans eat too few vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, seafood, and oil, while eating too much when it comes to less nutritious and more damaging food like refined grains, added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. This typical American diet is simply not good for brain health, which is why brain health supplements are becoming more and more popular.
Heres a bit of advice for getting better, more brain boosting nutrition with your daily meals and snacks:
Eat a balanced diet that includes three or more portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Specifically, look for evidence of high antioxidants in the rich colors of the veggies you choose. Choose colorful options like green peppers, red tomatoes, purple grapes, dark red or blue berries, and yellow or orange carrots.
When making your meal selection include proteins like fish, beans, chicken and lean cuts of pork and beef. And be sure to consume foods high in omega-3s like cold water sourced fish like salmon, as well as walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds.
What To Know Before You Take Turmeric Supplements
Turmeric and curcumin are widely available as dietary and nutritional supplements. The plants underground stems are typically dried and made into capsules, tablets, teas, or extracts.
The fact that they are commercially available means that a doctors prescription isnt required to try them. Still, Shetty emphasizes that you should consult your doctor before trying any supplement.
Although turmeric and curcumin are generally safe, when taken in large amounts, they can cause gastrointestinal side effects. The supplement used in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry study was designed specifically to avoid these side effects, Shetty notes.
Its essential to check with the physician or neurologist before starting curcumin, mainly because it may interact with other drugs you may be taking, he says.
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Keep Asking Questions Until You Get The Answer You Need
The Medical Experts are all here to answer your questions online or with a phone call.
It has been used in China to help us prevent aging and disease for centuries. Some researchers reported a ginseng study that involves 40 patients with mid to moderate vascular dementia. Twenty-five of 40 patients received ginseng extract, and 12 weeks later, they showed a significant memory improvement over the patients who did not receive ginseng extract. Additionally, a recent study showed that black ginseng may protect against cognitive and neuronal impairment and may be used to help people with vascular dementia.
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4. Treatments For Vascular Dementia With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains plenty of health benefits, and it is found to be useful to treating dementia because it is a powerful antioxidant and assists to keep the tissues and arteries healthy in our body. Add 1-2 tbsp. of virgin coconut oil everyday to prevent the symptoms of vascular dementia. Just ensure the coconut oil you use is organic, virgin coconut oil. Whereas, processed coconut oil has trans fatty acids and thus, it should not be eaten.
5. Fish Oil
6. Treatments For Vascular Dementia Bananas
Theres A Role For Genetics Theres A Role For Bad Luck
Dr. Kristine Yaffe
University of California, San Francisco
The more conservative report, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in 2017, relied primarily on large randomized clinical trials.
There arent many of those, so the panel endorsed just three interventions supported by encouraging but inconclusive evidence, to prevent, delay or slow cognitive decline.
Blood pressure management for people with hypertension, particularly in midlife
And cognitive training.
That last recommendation doesnt necessarily refer to commercial online brain games, said Dr. Kristine Yaffe, a neuropsychiatrist and epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who served on the panel.
Its really the concept of being mentally active, she said. Find something you enjoy where youre learning something new, challenging and stimulating your brain.
Though the evidence to date doesnt establish which mental workouts have the greatest impact or how often people should engage in them, theyre not expensive and they dont cause side effects, Dr. Yaffe pointed out.
The blood pressure recommendation got a boost in January with the latest findings from the Sprint trial, a multisite study stopped early in 2015 when intensive treatment of hypertension was shown to reduce cardiovascular events and deaths.
The investigators continued the trial, however, with 9,361 participants who had hypertension and completed follow-up cognitive assessments.
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Myth : Coenzyme Q10 Treats A Number Of Conditions Including Alzheimers
The bad news, says former ADDF Assistant Director, Penny Dacks, is that most supplements have very little evidence to support their use, particularly evidence gathered from humans . Coenzyme Q10 , for instance, is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in the body and CoQ10 levels decrease with age. Its become a popular supplement to treat Alzheimers. Unfortunately, there is relatively strong evidence suggesting it will not protect the brain.
There is, however, some evidence to support the use of CoQ10 for high blood pressure and heart failure.
Discover The Alzheimers Prevention Diet
One of the best ways you can feed your brain for better memory is by avoiding a diet high in trans-fat and saturated fat. These fats, such as those from animal products , can cause inflammation as well as produce free radicals. As you probably know, free radicals are a normal by-product of your metabolism, but in high quantities, they can damage and even kill your valuable brain cells.
Eating foods that are high in antioxidants like vitamins C and E is a wonderful natural way to eliminate free radicals from your body. In a similar way, scientists believe that a vast intake of fruits and vegetables, eating fish rich in omega-3 oils and vegetarian protein substitutes are protective against memory loss.
In addition to your renewed Alzheimers diet, read on to find out more about the best vitamins and nutrients to aid your memory and avoid Alzheimers disease early symptoms.
The ideal prevention diet breaks down like this:
- 20% good fats. Items in this group include extra virgin olive oil, avocado, and flax seed oil
- 40% lean proteins. Look to include fish, chicken, turkey, and soy on a daily basis.
- 40% complex carbohydrates. Discover the rewards of a rainbow of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits.
- Superfoods for the brain as much as you want! These superfoods, including blueberries, spinach, and seaweed, have fabulous antioxidant properties preventing causes of Alzheimers.
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