Nutrients and Foods for Alzheimer, Dementia and Memory Decline
Men and women afflicted by cognitive challenges such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, display a loss of synapses – connections between brain cells. Diminished synapses lead to memory loss and other cognitive impairments. A mixture of three naturally occurring dietary compounds: choline, uridine and docohexaenoic acid (DHA) can come to the rescue. To be effective, all three of the precursors must be consumed together.
- Choline is found in grass fed meats, nuts and eggs.
- Uridine is one of four components of RNA. So stock up on tomatoes, beer, broccoli and organ meats for this.
- Docohexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can be obtained directly from fish oil such as krill oil and is also in vegetabe oils such as flax and hemp oil.
Together, these three nutrient types are precursors to the lipid molecules that, along with specific proteins, make up brain-cell membranes. They became the central part of a supplement mixture, known as Souvenaid, and appear to stimulate growth of new synapses, says Richard Wurtman, the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Professor Emeritus at MIT, who invented the nutrient mixture.
The researchers followed 259 people for six months. Whether taking the nutrient blend or a placebo, they improved their verbal-memory performance for the first three months! But! the placebo people deteriorated during the following three months, whereas the nutrient blend group continued to improve. Electroencephalography (EEG) studies revealed changes in brain-activity patterns throughout the study. As the nutritional trial continued, the brains of people receiving the nutrient blend started to shift from patterns typical of dementia to more normal patterns. Because EEG patterns reflect synaptic activity, the researchers submit that synaptic function increased following treatment with the nutrient blend.
The entire study, written by Philip Scheltens, et al., appears in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 31, Number 1, July 2012, pages 225-236.