Dementia is a chronic and persistent decline in memory and thinking skills serious enough to interfere with daily activities.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It involves a set of symptoms including memory loss, problems with thinking, recalling events and concentrating, etc.
A person affected by dementia may also experience a shift in mood and behavior. Dementia is caused when the brain gets damaged by a disease like a series of strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.
But there are some other conditions like thyroid disease or vitamin deficiencies that can cause symptoms of dementia.
Dementia is progressive and can get worse over time. Research shows that taking certain vitamins may help to slow down the disease and improve cognitive function.
Vitamin Deficiencies That Can Lead To Dementia
As we grow older our aging body often becomes deficient in certain vitamins. The body also becomes less efficient in absorbing these key nutrients.
Ability to taste, chew or digest food also declines. When the body fails to get adequate nutrition, it becomes susceptible to disease. The deficiency of certain vitamins can lead to dementia.
Here are few essential vitamins that an aging body needs to reduce the risk of dementia.
1. Vitamin B Complex:
People who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia are often found deficient in B vitamins. B vitamins, particularly B9 (folate) or folic acid and vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 have been found to play a significant role in preventing cognitive decline and ward off brain aging especially associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, banish depression and help you live longer.
B vitamins not only slow the shrinkage of the brain, but they especially help to slow the shrinkage in the part of the brain that is known to get affected more by Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Cholinergic neurons that carry out nerve transmission in a specific part of the brain usually decline in an elderly person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies show that consuming vitamin B1 can help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by enhancing cholinergic neurons and certain enzymes responsible for brain impairment.
Mental fogginess and memory problems are often caused due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Recent research shows that these two vitamins can help to lower the levels of a specific amino acid elderly people can avoid the onset of dementia by taking vitamins B6, B,9, and B 12 on regular basis.
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2. Vitamin E And C:
Those who have been diagnosed with diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s have mostly been found deficient in vitamin E and C. Vitamin C and E are potent antioxidants.
Not just our body’s tissues but the brain contains lipids, the fatty compounds which are highly inclined to oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
So our brain needs antioxidant protection all the more because it consumes a significant amount of the body’s oxygen supply as it is more susceptible to oxidative damage than other parts of the body…
Recent research suggests that those with a deficiency of vitamin E in the blood are more susceptible to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Increased intake of vitamin E has been shown to slow down the progression of dementia and can even reduce the risk of developing dementia by protecting the brain against neuronal degeneration.
Basically, an adequate intake of vitamin E and C can protect or slow down the rate of cognitive decline with advanced age by increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrient to the brain. The suggested dose of vitamin E according to the University of Maryland is of vitamin E is 400 to 800 IU per day
3. Vitamin D
We all know that vitamin D is essential for reducing the risk of bone disease, autoimmune disease, and viral and bacterial infections, recent research shows that vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of developing age-related cognitive decline dementia.
Several brain tissues hold vitamin D receptors which accelerate nerve growth when activated by vitamin D. Researchers believe that an optimal level of vitamin D can improve dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
This vitamin is actually a naturally occurring compound of the membranes that surround the nerve cells and help to boost the levels of brain chemicals that assist the brain to process and holding memories.
The deficiency of this nutrient tends to degenerate nerve cells in those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
So adding phosphatidylserine supplement may help to protect these nerve cells from degeneration. The recommended daily dose suggested by the University of Maryland is 100 mg 3 times a day for reducing and reversing dementia.
Zinc is an essential nutrient for the healthy functioning of the body as well as the brain. Most elderly people are found deficient in zinc especially those with Alzheimer’s disease. For improving memory and cognitive function the recommended daily dose is 30 to 40 mg.
The deficiency of the above-mentioned vitamins in your diet can lead to dementia. But taking supplements or a diet rich in these vitamins along with proper hydration can help to avoid one set of dementia as you age.
Useful Research Links
- Dementia WHO
- What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis By U.S Department of health
- What Is Dementia? by CDC
- About dementia By NHS