Part 1: Adding vitamins, minerals and other supplements to your routine
Recent studies have shown that proper diet and nutrition, including vitamin and mineral supplements, may slow the onset of dementia in the elderly and in some cases, even reverse it.
Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in mental abilities that interferes with daily activities. Memory loss is a common example of dementia. Many things may cause dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Though often accepted in the elderly, dementia is NOT a normal part of aging, and should be investigated by your physician.
If you or your loved one is at risk for dementia, you may be able to slow or prevent the progress of the condition by making some simple changes to your lifestyle, especially through diet and physical activity.
In this series, we will examine three ways you or your loved one can incorporate habits to keep the brain operating at peak efficiency. In this article, we look at adding nutritional supplements. Subsequent articles will look at physical activity and mind-body integration tools.
Good nutrition beginning in middle age will help prevent any vitamin deficiencies as one gets older. In the elderly who are often consuming less overall food, getting proper nutrition can be more difficult and thus these deficiencies can crop up more often.
Delay or prevent dementia by adding nutritional supplements
Vitamin B supplements
Research indicates that deficiencies in B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, may cause dementia. Take extra vitamin B6, B12 and folate to ensure adequate stores in your body.
Vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D is well known to assist in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes among other conditions. However, the jury is still out on just how effective vitamin D supplementation is against dementia. Given this vitamin’s general useful effect on the body, it is one that is worth taking.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
Again, far from conclusive and without specifics on amount required, but research does indicate that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may delay the onset of dementia. These fats have also been shown to have benefits for skin, vision, and mood.
Ask your physician about any other specific supplements that may be useful for you or your loved one. These easy to incorporate supplements may be one key to keeping the mind sharp throughout life.