While it’s true we can’t change our mental acuity just by taking a pill, taking the right supplements can go a long way toward keeping our brains and minds healthy and sharp, especially when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Recent research suggests we can add certain natural supplements and vitamins to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. This will help curb cognitive decline and keep our precious cognitive functions, including memory, reasoning, and data retrieval, at peak performance. In fact, David Perlmutter, MD, the author of The End of Alzheimer’s Program: The First Protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline at Any Age, has advocated supplements along with high-quality sleep and daily exercise as his one-two-three-punch to prevent Alzheimer’s. Research on each supplement discussed here supports Dr. Perlmutter’s perspective.
Best Supplements for Alzheimer’s prevention
Drawn from the latest research and the top experts in the field, here are some of the superstar Alzheimer’s supplements. The very best way to add these to your life is by working with a professional in the field. I recommend looking for a DIFM: Dietitian in Integrative and Functional Medicine or an RDN: Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. These are the folks who are truly in the know about supplements.
Vitamin B Complex
Make sure your vitamin B complex contains B12 and folate. The dosage is determined by a blood test to find your B12 and folate levels and should be aligned with your body’s ability to absorb these vitamins.
Yes, studies are fairly conclusive that coffee is, at last, good for us – especially for older adults. Because it can interfere with sleep, make sure to limit your intake after lunch.
Whole Coffee Fruit Concentrate
NOT to be confused with the beans for your morning java, whole coffee fruit (WCFC) is a type of stone fruit and is sometimes called coffee cherry or coffee berry.
WCFC is shown to boost the protein Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a vital protein needed by our brain for higher thinking, learning new things, and keeping our long-term memory intact and functioning optimally. In one study, the British Journal of Nutrition found that a single dose of 100mg WCC increased the blood levels of BDNF by 143%!
Curcumin or Turmeric
Dr. Perlmutter recommends starting with 350mg twice a day. Again, your DIFM/RDN can determine a dosage specific to your needs.
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)
This supplement comes from fish oil (krill oil being the most beneficial, by far) or is algae-derived if you’re vegan. Max Lugavere, author of The Genius Life: Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary, recommends krill oil because it is a particularly rich form of DHA, and it uniquely nourishes our brain.
In 2014, research at the University of Exeter Medical School concluded that low levels of this important vitamin more than double our risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Your baseline vitamin D level from your blood work will determine your correct dosage.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are a source of good fat that can easily be converted to energy by our body, especially our brain. In trials in Japan and the US, adding MCT oil to our diet is showing significant improvements in cognitive function in patients who already have Alzheimer’s disease.
The newest science tells us our GI tract or gut is where all disease starts, and so heading off problems at the source helps both body and brain. Probiotics rebalance and keep our gut flora, the microbiome, or the good bacteria healthy and abundant. We should look for at least 30 billion CFU from at least 10 different probiotic species. I take one every morning at least 30 minutes before I eat.
This term has gained traction and more attention in the last few years. Prebiotic fiber feeds our good bacteria with what it needs to flourish and multiply. Some of the best sources include dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, and sunchokes. Five grams are recommended as a good starting point, adjusting as needed.
Working with your health practitioner and a nutrition expert, consider adding some of these brain-building powerhouses to your diet. Keep track of all improvements or issues, and feel good knowing you’re choosing to do your very best to keep your mind and memory strong and vibrant!
Until next time…Be Vibrant!