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Alzheimer's Disease Treatment: Diet

Overview

A combination of dietary, other lifestyle changes and certain dietary supplements could contribute to improvements around Alzheimer's symptoms. Studies have shown that found that cognitive function and brain efficiency may be improved by simple lifestyle changes such as:

  • Healthy eating (eg, five small, well-balanced meals per day)
  • Exercise (eg, daily walks)
  • Stress reduction techniques (eg, relaxation exercises, such as meditation)
  • Memory exercises (eg, doing crossword puzzles and brainteasers)

Researchers hypothesize that such improvements may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps even lower the risk of developing the disease.

#Alzheimer's Diet

A heart-healthy diet may also help with preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer's. The American Heart Association has created some guidelines:

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eat at least 4½ cups a day.
  • Eat a variety of fiber-rich whole grains. Eat at least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day.
  • Include protein, such as fat-free and low-fat milk products, fish, legumes (beans), skinless poultry, and lean, preferably white meats. Limit red meats and processed meat. For nuts, legumes, and seeds, eat at least four servings a week. For processed meats, eat no more than two servings a week. When eating fish, choose oily fish, like salmon. Eat at least two, 3½-ounce servings a week.
  • Limit foods high in saturated fat,transfat, and/or cholesterol, such as full-fat milk products, fatty meats, tropical oils, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and egg yolks. Instead choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol from the first three points above. Saturated fat should be less than 7% of your total energy intake.
  • Limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks and candy that have a lot of sugars. For sugar-sweetened beverages, do not have more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week.
  • Eat less than 1,500 milligrams of salt (sodium chloride) per day.
  • Have no more than one alcoholic drink per day if you're a woman and no more than two if you're a man.

As the disease progresses, though, your moods, capabilities, and behavior will change. That is why it is important for you to make make arrangements for daily care, learn how to adapt your home environment for safety, and research available community services. These steps, when done early, will help make the transition smoother for you and your caregiver

Treatments

Effect of Phosphatidylserine on Alzheimer's Disease

Phosphatidylserine (PS), in studies of severe mental decline, appears to have been equally effective whether the cause was Alzheimer's disease or something entirely unrelated, such as multiple small...

Read more about Alzheimer's Disease and Phosphatidylserine.

Effect of Carnitine on Alzheimer's Disease

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a substance used by the body uses to turn fat into energy. Acetyl-L-Carnitine, in theory, could improve the ability of certain tissues to produce energy, including brain tissue...

Read more about Alzheimer's Disease and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC).

Effect of Melatonin on Alzheimer's Disease

The combination of melatonin and light therapy (bright light exposure during daylight hours) has shown to improve both mood and quality of sleep, which can be significant part of Alzheimer's...

Read more about Alzheimer's Disease and Melatonin.

Other dietary supplements for Alzheimer's

  1. Vitamin E: One study found that vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol) may slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, but another did not.66,72 A very large study failed to find that use of vitamin E reduced risk of general mental decline (whether caused by Alzheimer’s or not) in women over 65.75
  1. N-acetylcysteine (NAC): Very preliminary evidence suggests that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) might also be helpful for slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease.67
  1. Colistrinin: substance derived from colostrum, has shown some promise for treatment of Alzheimer's.71

These supplements have also been suggested as treatments for Alzheimer's disease. However, as yet there is limited clinical study to support their use.

  1. Bee pollen
  1. Carnosine
  1. Citrulline
  1. DMAE42,50
  1. Inositol
  1. Magnesium
  1. Pregnenolone
  1. Vitamin B1
  1. Zinc
  1. B-Vitamins: Elevated blood levels of the substance homocysteine have been suggested as a contributor to Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia. However, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study failed to find that homocysteine-lowering treatment using B-vitamins was helpful for multi-infarct dementia.73 Similarly, two studies failed to find benefits in people with Alzheimer’s disease.81,88 In another study, a mixture of B-vitamins did not improve quality of life in people with mild cognitive impairment of various causes.78
  1. DHEA: Early reports suggested that declining levels of the hormone DHEA cause impaired mental function in the elderly. On this basis, DHEA has been promoted as a cognition-enhancing supplement. However, the one double-blind study that tested DHEA for Alzheimer's disease found little to no benefit.16,17
  1. Fish Oil: Studies of fish oil have failed to find it helpful for Alzheimer's disease, whether for delaying its onset, slowing its progression, or improving its symptoms.74,77,87

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