Many people assume Alzheimer’s disease is unpreventable, leading to eventual memory troubles and difficulty with daily living. However, many experts complete research to see if this disease is preventable with lifestyle and dietary changes. If you’re trying to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, are there any vitamins that can help?
Continue reading to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, including what vitamins can help prevent or delay it from developing.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia where the brain begins to shrink, caused by brain cells dying. Around 5.8 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, experiencing memory loss and other symptoms.
How Does Alzheimer’s Affect Someone’s Cognitive Function?
Contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer’s affects more than someone’s memory—it changes how someone thinks, behaves, and interacts with others. These changes become more significant as Alzheimer’s progresses.
Alzheimer’s worsens with time, leading to several changes in cognitive function, including:
- Mood & behavioral changes
- Confusion about events, time, & place
- Unjustified suspicion about family & friends
- Memory loss
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, & walking
Is There Any Way to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
Research is ever evolving when it comes to preventing Alzheimer’s. Experts discover new information every year, learning more about how people can lower their disease risk.
While research is ongoing, there’s strong evidence that lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s.
How Can Vitamins & Supplements Help With Alzheimer’s Disease?
The right vitamins or supplements may help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s. Research is ongoing into the effectiveness of these nutrients, but more information becomes available with time. Speaking with your doctor can help determine if these vitamins are right for you or your loved one.
Some vitamins and supplements for Alzheimer’s include vitamin B, vitamin E, bacopa monnieri, sage, vitamin D, and omega fatty acids.
Vitamin B has several roles in the brain, helping create and maintain nerves, repairing areas of the body, and helping nerves communicate with each other. Your essential B vitamins include:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
Previous research on vitamin B found that supplementing this vitamin into your diet early can help slow cognitive decline. Vitamin B9, also known as folate, can lower the risk of dementia as you age.
Another study discovered that high vitamin B12 levels help protect against dementia.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties some experts believe can help prevent Alzheimer’s. This vitamin has several roles in the body. It’s important for vision and your brain, blood, and skin health.
The effectiveness of vitamin E is debatable when used to prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Some research found that increased vitamin E intake can significantly reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Other experts believe that vitamin E may have beneficial properties, but more research is needed.
If you’re interested in vitamin E supplements, speak with your doctor before using any for yourself or a loved one.
Bacopa monnieri can help remove harmful molecules in the brain. In recent years, experts have begun researching how it can help potentially treat Alzheimer’s disease. The idea is that bacopa monnieri can reduce the formation of abnormal material in the brain that may cause cognitive decline.
Previous research found this herb can be effective in protecting cognitive function. Another study discovered bacopa monnieri has the promise to be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease, but further research is needed to rule out potential side effects.
Salvia officinalis (sage) can help reduce inflammation in the body and work as an antioxidant. Experts have researched if sage can address Alzheimer’s disease.
Research shows that sage has the potential to improve cognitive function and protect against dementia, but more research is needed.
Vitamin D is essential for your general health, helping maintain your bone structure. This vitamin becomes important as you age, but many seniors can have a vitamin D deficiency. It’s common for people over 70 to produce less vitamin D than someone younger.
Some experts believe that a vitamin D deficiency can lead to Alzheimer’s. 2019 research found that vitamin D deficiency has strong associations with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Additional research discovered that daily vitamin D oral supplements help improve cognitive function and may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids may help prevent or treat Alzheimer’s. You get these fatty acids from the foods you eat, like fish.
While omega fatty acids may be helpful if taken earlier in life, there is limited evidence that they can specifically prevent Alzheimer’s. However, these nutrients are essential for good health, which can help prevent cognitive decline. Speak with your doctor before considering omega fatty acids for you or a loved one.
Help Is Available for Alzheimer’s Disease
If Alzheimer’s affects you or a loved one, you don’t need to worry about how you can manage this disease. It can become difficult with time, but memory support is available to help. A memory support community provides many services to care for residents’ needs, such as medication management, cognitive support, engaging activities for the brain, and physical therapy.
Contact your local community if you’re interested in memory support.