We’re very used to protecting cardiovascular, digestive, and immune health, but we rarely think of the brain. In fact, it is a problem that worries us in adulthood when memory starts to fail. One of the most common diseases is Alzheimer’s, a progressive disease in which Symptoms of dementia gradually worsen over the years. In the early stages there is little memory loss, but in the final stage people lose the ability to have a conversation and to react to the environment.
The good news is that a growing number of herbal remedies, supplements, and “medicinal foods” are now being promoted as memory enhancers or treatments to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. They confirm that lifestyle and daily habits have a significant influence on the prevention and good management of dementia.
1. Caprylic acid and coconut oil
Caprylic acid is a medium-chain triglyceride (fat) made by processing coconut or palm kernel oil. Caprylic acid is broken down into substances called “ketone bodies” by the body and is marketed as a medicinal food called axona. The theory behind this supplement is that caprylic acid derived ketone bodies can deliver afAlternative source of energy for brain cells who have lost their ability to use glucose due to Alzheimer’s disease. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain. Imaging studies show a reduced use of glucose in the brain regions affected by Alzheimer’s. Additionally, there are scientific references showing the benefits of axona consumption in memory and general brain function tests.
Coconut oil. / Photo: Shutterstock
2. Ginkgo biloba
It is one of the most popular plant extracts and is characterized by its content of various compounds that can have a positive effect on brain and body cells. Various scientific studies have shown that ginkgo has biloba antioxidant and anti-inflammatory propertiesto protect cell membranes and regulate neurotransmitter function. Ginkgo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is currently used for relief in Europe cognitive symptoms related to a range of neurological disorders.
Ginko biloba. / Photo: Shutterstock
3. Food supplements with vitamins
Regarding the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E, it is known that People with cognitive impairments and Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of these vitaminsThey are also known to be related to cognitive function. Therefore, the additional intake of these dietary supplements could be beneficial for patients with the same vitamin deficiency. In particular, there is one moderate quality study that suggests that vitamin E may slow the development of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease without increasing the side effects or mortality. Regarding folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, their deficit is known to be related to poor cognitive function and possible dementia in the elderly.
Vitamin supplements. / Photo: Shutterstock
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
For the past few months, all diet trends are talking about the benefits of consuming omega-3 supplements for promoting the proper functioning of the body. The truth is that research has linked certain types of omega-3 fatty acids to reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. The US Food and Drug Administration allows dietary supplements and foods to display labels with “a qualified health claim” for two types of omega-3 fatty acids. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Science has also linked high omega-3 intake to a possible reduction in the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment. The main omega-3 in the brain is DHA, which is found in the fat membranes that surround nerve cells, especially at the microscopic junctions where cells connect to one another. Theories as to why omega-3s may affect the risk of dementia include their benefits to the heart and blood vessels; anti-inflammatory effects; and support and protection of nerve cell membranes.
Omega 3 Supplements / Photo: Shutterstock
You might be interested in: