Dementia is a chronic and persistent decline in memory and thinking skills serious enough to interfere with daily activities. Alzheimer’s disease is most common type of dementia. It involves a set of symptoms including memory loss, problem with thinking, recalling events and concentrating etc. A person affected by dementia may also experience shift in mood and behavior. Dementia is caused when brain get damaged by disease like series of stokes 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. Body also becomes less efficient in absorbing these key nutrients. Ability taste, chew or digest food also decline. When body fails to get adequate nutrition, it becomes susceptible to disease. Deficiency of certain vitamins can lead to dementia. Here are few essential vitamins which 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 brain, but they especially help to slow the shrinkage in part of brain that is known to get affected more by Alzheimer’s disease. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, Cholinergic neurons that carry out nerve transmission in specific part of brain usually declines in elderly person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies show that consuming vitamin B1 can help to slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease by enhancing cholinergic neurons and certain enzymes responsible for brain impairment. Mental fogginess and memory problems are often causes 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 onset of dementia by taking vitamin B6, B9 and B 12 on regular basis.
2. Vitamin E and C:
Those who have been diagnosed with disease 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 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 significant amount of body’s oxygen supply as it is more susceptible to oxidative damage than other parts of the body… Recent research suggests that those with deficiency of vitamin E in blood are more susceptible to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Increased intake of vitamin E have been shown to slow down 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. A number of brain tissues hold vitamin D receptors which accelerate nerve growth when activated by vitamin D. researchers believe that optimal level of vitamin D can improve dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
This vitamin is actually a naturally occurring compound I of the membranes that surrounds the nerve cells and helps to boost the levels of brain chemicals that assist brain to process and hold 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 University of Maryland is 100 mg 3 times a day for reducing and reversing dementia.
Zinc is an essential nutrient for healthy functioning of body as well as 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.
Deficiency of above mentioned vitamins in your diet can lead to dementia. But taking supplement or diet rich in these vitamins along with proper hydration can help to avoid on set of dementia as you age.