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Nutrient Cocktail May Slow Advancement of Alzheimer's

Although a way to reverse the effects of Alzheimer's has proven elusive, recent studies suggest that there may be ways to slow down the advancement of the disease, especially if it's caught early. Two recent studies suggest that consuming a combination of DHA omega-3 fatty acid, choline and uridine may markedly improve memory in individuals with early onset Alzheimer's.

For the first study, conducted by researchers at the Alzheimer Center at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, included 225 participants with diagnoses of mild Alzheimer's. Over the course of three months, the volunteers were assigned either a cocktail of the nutrients listed above or a placebo. At the conclusion of the study, the supplement group showed a 40% improvement in verbal-memory, while the placebo group showed only a 24% improvement.

The second study was conducted by the same researchers using the same nutrient supplement was administered, but this time the volunteers were followed for six months. At the conclusion of the study, the supplement group showed changes in brain patterns that seemed to indicate that the brain was functioning in a healthier manner, while no changes were noted in the placebo group.

Additionally, both the placebo group and the supplement group showed verbal-memory improvements in the first three months, just as in the first study. However, the placebo group actually showed a decline in the second three months, while the supplement group continued to show improvements.

The researchers believe that the nutrients stimulated synapse growth. Synapses are the connections between brain cells that are often destroyed by Alzheimer's.

The studies were published online ahead of print on July 9, 2012, in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Previous studies have shown that consuming high levels of vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B and vitamin E may also slow the advancement of Alzheimer's. Keep an eye out for future studies about nutritional interventions for this devastating illness, as new research is being released every day.

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