The brain is a blood organ and a flesh that requires proper nutrition to function appropriately. The approach to build improved memory in an individual, prevent Alzheimer's condition, improve memory loss, and reduce the possible risks associated with the development of Alzheimer's condition mainly requires a healthy lifestyle.
Diet is primarily considered as one of the critical factors that influence brain health in an individual. A proper diet specified for Alzheimer's conditions can positively aid in influencing gene expression.
The prevalence of any disease condition can be significantly prevented and is found to be exclusively linked with proper food nutrition.
The right selection of food is what specifically matters to brain health and is the best way to feed your body with the nutrients it needs.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
One of the most common forms of dementia is known as Alzheimer's disease. It is a progressive degenerative disorder that affects the brain's functions through slow impairment in the ability to perform daily rituals.
Being one of the most common types of dementia, it mainly accounts for around 60 percent to 80 percent of the cause dementia throughout the United States.
Approximate 5 million people are affected by Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Based on such estimation, the number of Alzheimer's patients is likely to increase three times by 2060.
People of age 65 years or more are more likely to be susceptible to this disease. However, around 10 percent of the cases are likely to occur in the young population.
Commonly known symptoms of Alzheimer's disease mainly include frequent unpredictable behavioral responses, impulsive behavior, language issues, and memory loss.
The factors that indicate this condition's presence are found to be associated bank the presence of brain tangles and plaque. Similarly, another feature is the loss of signaling connection between the nerve cells in the brain.
The loss of connection indicates that the passage through which information is passed to different areas of the brain, organs, and muscles is disturbed.
If this condition's symptoms start to worsen, it becomes difficult for Alzheimer's patients to remember events and even become unable to recognize people they already know.
1. Vitamin D
One of the most common jobs of Vitamin D is to improve the functions of the brain. Vitamin D's possible sources mainly include the sun, and other sources are egg yolks, cheese, and fatty fish. Because of Vitamin D's benefits in brain health, it can be taken in the form of a supplement.
This is because Alzheimer's is associated with Vitamin D. It has been shown in scientific studies that low levels of Vitamin D might induce Alzheimer in some patients. In a 2011 study, Vitamin D's intake has been beneficial in treating Alzheimer and is known to significantly improve brain functions and health because Vitamin D acts as a receptor in the CNS (Central Nervous System).
In the BMC Neurology, the study was conducted to determine the possible risk factors associated with Vitamin D deficiency for dementia and Alzheimer's patients. The study outcomes showed that people with severe Vitamin D deficiency tend to be at high risk of Alzheimer's, which is around 51 percent. Thus, the best supplement to bring improvement in cognitive functions includes enough amount of Vitamin D.
2. Vitamin C
Like Vitamin D, Vitamin C is also one of the vitamins that help fight more medical conditions other than the common cold.
According to a critical view of 2012, evidence shows that the maintenance of recommended intake of Vitamin C is important because it has protective functions associated with cognitive health linked with the brain's age-related functions.
Vitamin C supplements are known to be more beneficial to avoid Vitamin C deficiency and improve brain health.
According to a review of 2017, the link between cognitive functions and brain-boosting vitamins was evaluated. The review showed that patients with Alzheimer's disease had a relatively low concentration of Vitamin C in the serum, even in healthy people. Thus, it was concluded that Vitamin C helps regulate enzymes and improves the functions of the brain.
A systematic review reported that a low level of magnesium served as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
In the magnesium research, the depletion of magnesium in the brain appeared to be the pathogenic factor associated with Alzheimer's disease. Thus, magnesium supplements can improve cognitive function.
The evaluation of the effect of Chlorella on Alzheimer’s disease has been known beneficial in preventing the disease progression, such as cognitive impairment in the Neuroscience Letters. Therefore, for the prolonged consumption of Chlorella to prevent worsening of the condition, the use of Chlorella supplement has been recommended.
It would improve cognitive impairment and improve brain health through a reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation.
Phosphatidylcholine is a mineral that is known to bring a drastic reduction in cognitive decline and improve function.
In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study was conducted on 2500 men participants who live in Finland. The study outcomes showed that the higher concentration of phosphatidylcholine was known to bring a reduction in the symptoms associated with the cognitive health of people with dementia and Alzheimer's condition.
Another 2019 study showed that phosphatidylcholine intake had been associated with improving brain performance and reduce the risk of dementia.
6. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba's use in the improvement of memory has been widely known and might assist in treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s. The role of ginkgo Biloba has been studied for the past many years to include in treating Alzheimer's condition.
This product that can be used for cognitive improvement is mainly extracted from the Maidenhair tree leaves. The extract from the leaves of this plant has been widely used in the United States and many other European countries as a supplement.
It also plays an important role in patients' mainstream medical care but significantly requires a prescription for use. The extract is primarily known as EGb 761. Other than the United States, this extract is prescribed for use in other countries.
According to a 2010 review, the intake of ginkgo Biloba was more effective in patients with Alzheimer's than the placebo effect. However, there was no significant improvement in the daily activities.
In the Integrative Medicine Sight, ginkgo Biloba's mechanism of action was examined, which was known to provide benefits associated with neurocognitive health. It contained three active components, i.e., flavonoids, bilobalide, and ginkgolide. This indicated that EGb 761 brought improvement in the memory and brain health of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
A bioactive component found in the Huperzia serreta known as Huperzine A is known to improve and enhance the cognitive effects. However, there is a different mechanism of actions of Huperzine; some of the actions are found to similar to the traditional medicinal effects on cognitive function. Such traditional medicines mainly include acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and antagonistic effects on the NMDA receptor.
The dose range for the patients with Alzheimer's was between 200 to 400µg.
In a randomized control trial, the patients with dementia were given an average daily dose of Huperzine 100 µg twice a day. The results of the study showed significant improvement in daily activity.
A 2011 Phase II trial compared two different Huperzine dose ranges on patients who have Alzheimer's disease. The dose ranges of Huperzine were 200 µg and 400 µg twice a day. The dose of 400 µg showed a modest effect on cognitive function. Whereas the common side effect of this medication was nausea.
Huperzine is considered an effective alternative approach to improve the cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer patients.
8. Omega-3 fatty acids
In a randomized control trial, identifying the role of omega-fatty acid as the most common alternative medicinal product and complementary medicine. Some of the possible nutritional resources of omega-3 fatty acids are krill, algae, nuts, and fish.
According to a 2009 study, the most used forms of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA – important in developing neurons. Delays in the development are mainly due to the deficiency of DHA. It also functions as a neuroprotective agent followed by anti-amyloid, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.
It has also been reported that the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease reduces with the consumption of fish.
In Neurology, the consumption of fish at least two to three times a week reduces dementia development.
In a 2006 clinical trial, the follow-up study included 899 students with no symptoms of dementia. The duration of the study was nine years. The study outcomes demonstrated a 47 percent reduction in the development of Alzheimer’s disease in patients representing high DHA levels.
Ginseng is an herbal medicine that has the potential to enhance cognitive functions. In a randomized control trial, the placebo was compared with the effect of Korean red ginseng (KRG). It showed significant improvement in the efficacy of treating Alzheimer's disease.
Similarly, ginseng and ginkgo Biloba's use was based on the determination of the effect of agents that can enhance cognitive ability in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Statistical analysis of the study showed significantly improved cognitive ability, but it was not clinically significant.
10. Vitamins B12 and B9
Deficiency of Vitamin B is known to be one of the possible causes of impairment in cognitive function. Due to this reason, the determination of Vitamin B level in the human body is the standard approach for the evaluation of vitamins involved in the impaired cognitive function.
Neurology has been reported that some of the components in Vitamin B are known to be associated with memory deficiency, the volume of the brain, and a decrease in perceptual speed.
In a randomized control trial, Vitamin B9 and B12 both tend to enhance individuals' cognitive function with a normal level of cognition. In adults aged 60 years or more, Vitamin B supplementation showed therapeutic benefit on the delayed and immediate recall.
There are not many studies conducted on evaluating the effect of Vitamin B supplementation in patients with impaired cognitive function. It has been suggested that Vitamin B provides some benefit to people with intact cognitive function.
11. Coconut oil/caprylidene
Like omega-3 fatty acid, another medium-chain fatty acid is coconut oil which is mainly known for easy digestion compared to other saturated forms of fatty acids.
Less research is conducted on the evaluation of coconut oil in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. But there is some evidence that reports the use of coconut oil and its potential effects on this condition.
In the British Journal of Nutrition, it was hypothesized that there are many benefits of coconut oil and indirectly impact the reduction of risk associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The implication of different mechanisms mainly includes the antioxidant effect. Similarly, coconut oil can significantly reduce the accumulation of beta-amyloid and decrease resistance to insulin and lipoprotein cholesterol of low density.
However, there are some adverse effects of the consumption of coconut oil as well. Most common include effects on gastrointestinal health such as dyspepsia, flatulence, and diarrhea.
To treat cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease, different agents have been marketed so far. The use of some agents represents compelling evidence for the recommended use in vulnerable people.
However, more research is need for a better understanding of the benefits of available treatment options. The use of insufficient vitamin amounts is known to provide multiple benefits to people with significant cognitive function improvement.