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Whether you are at risk of developing dementia or you have been diagnosed already, there are many things that you can do to protect brain function and slow cognitive decline. Social interaction, mental stimulation, exercise, and diet are all integral.
Increasingly scientists have begun to understand the importance of nutrition to prevent dementia and slow its onset.
However, it is difficult to get full nutrition from diet alone, especially for older adults whose bodies are less efficient at absorbing essential nutrients, so alzprevention.org compiled this report on the best vitamins and supplements. Certain vitamins and minerals offer cognitive benefits, and some vitamin deficiencies can be a cause of dementia.
Note: If you consider a dietary supplement, then discuss it with your healthcare provider first to ensure there are no potential interactions with health conditions or medications.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Dementia describes the overall decline in mental ability that is serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most well-known, but other types of dementia include Vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Some people might assume that memory loss and impaired cognitive function are a natural part of aging, but that isn’t the case. It can often result from small amounts of damage to the brain, which can lead to noticeable impairments. However, the brain can heal, and it can be protected from cognitive decline, even for older adults.
While a dementia diagnosis is extremely difficult, and there is no known cure, many people live well for years following their diagnosis with the right interventions.
Studies have shown a strong like between vitamin D deficiency and dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. (1) We get most vitamin D from the sun, therefore supplementation is especially important for those living in colder climates, or those who spend little time outdoors.
Not only is vitamin D important for cognitive function, but it also improves overall health and wellbeing and is helpful for the functioning of the skeletal and cardiovascular systems.
Despite its importance, around 41.6% of the U.S. population is thought to be deficient. (2).
Zinc is an essential mineral that you must obtain from food. It is the most abundant trace metal in the brain and is important for many bodily functions, including gene expression, immune function, DNA synthesis, wound healing, and protein synthesis. (3)
Zinc deficiency is common as we age and has been associated with mental decline and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Supplementation is particularly beneficial for those with diabetes and dementia. (4)
Vitamin C and E
According to research carried out by the Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation, those who eat diets rich in vitamin C and vitamin E have a 20-25% lower risk of developing the disease. (5) Vitamins C and E are found in many fruits and vegetables. If you do not eat a variety of fruit and veg, then you should consider supplementation.
Three B vitamins are linked with brain health: vitamin B6, vitamin B9Â (folic acid), and vitamin B12. They help break down homocysteine, an amino acid associated with a greater risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. B vitamins also produce energy that can be used to develop new brain cells. (6)
Phosphatidylserine covers and protects theÂ brain cells and plays an important role in memory. According to WebMD, levels lessen with age, and there is evidence that supplementation may boost short-term memory, mood, and concentration.
Research has shown that healthy people who consumed 200 mg ofÂ Panax ginseng per day for four weeks improve social functioning, mental health, and mood. (9).
While studies are relatively new, there is also promising evidence for Lutein being used to treat Parkinson’s Disease due to its influence on dopamine and its antioxidant properties. (11)
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Pine Park has known anti-oxidative and neuroprotective benefits. For this reason, experts believe that it may have some benefits to those with Alzheimer’s Disease. However, more research needs to be done to verify this. (12)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids keep hair, skin, and nails healthy. They are found in foods such as fish, nuts, and seeds. In the National Institutes of Health systematic review, they explain that supplements are beneficial to again persons and improve cognitive function and memory.
Omega 3s in the form of DHA is particularly beneficial to people with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. (13)
Despite being increasingly popular, in clinical trials,Â Ginkgo BilobaÂ failed to prevent cognitive decline orÂ dementia.
Rather than taking a wide range of supplements, some products are designed to provide you with a full set of nutrients in one capsule.
Centrapeak is a male vitality booster that has been designed to improve cognitive function, boost energy and motivation, increase strength and enhance libido. It addresses many of the issues we all face as we age, including declining testosterone levels. It works to naturally increase testosterone to leave you feeling good.
It contains most of the ingredients listed above, including vitamin D, Panex Ginseng, pine bark extract, vitamin B6, Zinc, and Lutein. You can read a full list of ingredients and dosages here.
When you have more energy and feel good, it is easier to socialize and perform mentally challenging tasks. Both of which are beneficial for people with dementia.
Positive feedback loops are powerful, and by supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals, you could see a transformation in your life. The ingredients in Centrapeak work synergetically to restore your youth.
It is possible to slow down or prevent cognitive decline, even as we age. Exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation are essential for maintaining healthy brain function and sharp memory. But increasingly, there is an understanding that diet and nutrition are paramount to brain health.
No supplement can make up for an unhealthy diet. If you are at risk of cognitive impairment, you should make sure that you eat a varied diet with healthy, high-quality meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables. Include common foods such as:
- Citris fruit for vitamin C
- Pumpkin or almonds for vitamin E
- Meat and eggs for vitamin b12.
- Green leafy vegetables and Broccoli for folic acid.
- Fish and nuts for Omega-3 fatty acid.
That being said, there is plenty of evidence to show that a high-quality dietary supplement can increase levels of essential vitamins and minerals, preventing cognitive decline and slowing down symptoms of dementia. Our top recommendation is Centrapeak.
- Littlejohns TJ, Henley WE, Lang IA, et al. Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease.Â Neurology. 2014;83(10):920-928. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000755
- Forrest KY, Stuhldreher WL. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. Nutr Res. 2011 Jan;31(1):48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.12.001. PMID: 21310306.
- Ods.od.nih.gov. 2021.Â Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. [online] Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/%20Zinc-HealthProfessional/> [Accessed 10 March 2021].
- Nuttall JR, Oteiza PI. Zinc and the aging brain.Â Genes Nutr. 2014;9(1):379. doi:10.1007/s12263-013-0379-x
- Alzdiscovery.org. 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.alzdiscovery.org/uploads/cognitive_vitality_media/addf-vitamins-c-e-full-report.pdf> [Accessed 10 March 2021].
- Smith AD, Refsum H. Homocysteine, B Vitamins, and Cognitive Impairment. Annu Rev Nutr. 2016 Jul 17;36:211-39. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071715-050947. PMID: 27431367.
- Geng J, Dong J, Ni H, Lee MS, Wu T, Jiang K, Wang G, Zhou AL, Malouf R. Ginseng for cognition. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Dec 8;(12):CD007769. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007769.pub2. PMID: 21154383.
- Choi J, Kim TH, Choi TY, Lee MS. Ginseng for health care: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials in Korean literature. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59978. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059978. Epub 2013 Apr 1. PMID: 23560064; PMCID: PMC3613407.
- Ellis JM, Reddy P. Effects of Panax ginseng on quality of life. Ann Pharmacother. 2002 Mar;36(3):375-9. doi: 10.1345/aph.1A245. PMID: 11895046.
- Juturu, V., 2015. Lutein, Brain, and Neurological Functions.Â Bioactive Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements in Neurological and Brain Disease, pp.41-47.
- Nataraj J, Manivasagam T, Thenmozhi AJ, Essa MM. Lutein protects dopaminergic neurons against MPTP-induced apoptotic death and motor dysfunction by ameliorating mitochondrial disruption and oxidative stress. Nutr Neurosci. 2016 Jul;19(6):237-46. doi: 10.1179/1476830515Y.0000000010. Epub 2015 Mar 2. PMID: 25730317.
- Ono K, Zhao D, Wu Q, Simon J, Wang J, Radu A, Pasinetti GM. Pine Bark Polyphenolic Extract Attenuates Amyloid-Î² and Tau Misfolding in a Model System of Alzheimer’s Disease Neuropathology. J Alzheimers Dis. 2020;73(4):1597-1606. doi: 10.3233/JAD-190543. Erratum in: J Alzheimers Dis. 2020;77(1):457. PMID: 31958081.
- Ods.od.nih.gov. 2021.Â Office of Dietary Supplements – Omega-3 Fatty Acids. [online] Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/> [Accessed 10 March 2021].