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Multi-Ingredient Blend May Help Improve Cognitive Functioning In People With Cognitive Decline

A recent study suggests that a supplement containing vitamin E, folic acid, and vitamin B12 may help improve cognitive functioning in people with mild cognitive impairment.

Participants in the study include 34 people with mild cognitive impairment and an average age of 66. Twenty-two of the participants were given the supplement which contained vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B12 and 1500 mg of a proprietary blend that consists of n-acetyl l-cysteine, acetyl l-carnitine and SAMe. The remaining 12 were given a placebo daily for one year. The study was a six-month trial, with a six-month open label extension during which the placebo group also took the supplement.

All of the participants took a Dementia Rating Scale questionnaire at the beginning of the study and then at three-month intervals up until the 12-month mark. They were also given the CLOX-1 test at the same intervals, which asks participants to draw a clock from memory. Both tests were used to assess cognitive functioning.

The researchers found that the supplement was associated with an improvement in the Dementia Rating Scale and maintenance of performance on the CLOX-1 test, indicating improved cognitive functioning. In comparison, the placebo group did not show improvements on the DRS scale and declined in the CLOX-1. However, once they started taking the supplement, they also improved on the DRS scale and stopped declining on the CLOX-1. Sixty-seven percent of the supplement group improved or stayed the same on their cognitive functioning scores and also maintained or improved their clock test, while only 18% of the placebo group did the same.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell conducted the study. It was published in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Previous studies have shown that vitamin E intake is associated with lower cholesterol, healthier skin, maintaining a proper hormonal balance, and help reduce the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate plays an essential role in many of the necessary functions of the human body. It has been associated with nervous system function, red blood cell formation, and hormone function. Previous studies have also found a potential link between this vitamin and reductions in hearing loss and birth defects.

Our bodies do not naturally synthesize B vitamins. However, it is easy to increase your intake by eating more folate- rich foods, such as liver, eggs, beans, sunflower seeds, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupes, and other melons.

Food sources of vitamin B12 include liver, turkey giblets, oysters, clams, king crab and whole milk. If your diet is not rich in these products, you should consider supplementing with a high quality multivitamin or vitamin B12 supplement. If you’re looking to add more vitamin E to your diet, try eating more sunflower seeds, breakfast cereal, tomatoes, dried herbs, and dried apricots.

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