Can Supplements And Spices Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

2014-02-10 | |
Last updated: 2019-10-24

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that leads to problems such as memory loss and more general mental disabilities. The condition is one of the most widespread causes of dementia, responsible for 60 to 70% of dementia cases. It is also the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. with similar statistics in other countries. More than four million Americans are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s and the number will most likely triple by 2050. The effects of this disease are so concerning that the US government recently increased funding for Alzheimer’s disease by more than $100 million dollars.

While the benefits of such research will not be seen for some time, research that has been completed is showing potential benefits from a variety of supplements and foods.

Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s usually have a problem with the cleanup of waste in the brain. The immune system is normally responsible for such cleanup activities, but when it fails, clumps of this waste can accumulate in the brain cells preventing them from functioning normally and even leading to the death of brain cells.

The Benefits Of Turmeric Spice And Vitamin D In Managing Alzheimer’s

To improve the effectiveness of the immune system in cleaning the brain for those with Alzheimer’s, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, had a closer look at the immune stimulation effects of the well-known vitamin D3 mixed with synthetic curcumin, an active ingredient from the turmeric spice. What they found was that the mix of ingredients improved the ability of immune cells to pick up and absorb these waste materials. This is positive, however, research is ongoing to determine who would benefit from such treatment and what dosage would be required.

Cinnamon Protective Benefits Against Alzheimer’s

While turmeric spice has received attention for its numerous health benefits, including its potential against Alzheimer’s, cinnamon may also be beneficial against the disease. A 2013 study from the University of California published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease mentions that two compounds found in cinnamon could prevent the accumulation of waste Tau proteins within brain cells. While the Tau protein is considered a vital component of the brain’s ordinary cell structure, it will accumulate and forms clumps if not removed by the body. Such clumps are better known as the hallmarks for Alzheimer’s.

Supplements May Help Prevent Dementia

In addition to spices, supplements such as folic acid, vitamin B12, and B6 could also delay the progression of the disease. There have been various compelling research efforts on the matter. The main benefit observed was related to dementia. Researchers found that the B family of vitamins might ward off, or at the very least, delay the development of Alzheimer’s. The research showed that increased doses of vitamin B given to people with increased chances of developing Alzheimer’s might slow down the shrinkage of the brain’s volume, and particularly reduce shrinkage in areas most affected by the disease.

Vitamin E might help slow the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Administered in high doses for a period of two years, researchers from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System found the vitamin delayed the condition’s progression by roughly 6 months. As a result, researchers are seriously considering including vitamin E as a treatment for early-stage Alzheimer’s because it acts like a powerful antioxidant, which means it could delay or prevent cell damage. That said, the levels of vitamin E used in the study are considered toxic so further research is required to determine whether such a treatment is feasible.

The Possibilities Of Goji Berries In Alzheimer’s Treatment

Based on a 2010 study from the The University of Hong Kong, it is possible that Goji berries could help protect the human brain from Alzheimer’s. Several early stage test-tube experiments have found that the fruit has great antioxidant benefits, and thus the extracts might help shield the brain from cell damage.

In particular, the study looked at the ability of such extracts to reduce the levels of a specific amino-acid chemical within the blood. The body creates this amino acid but when its levels within the blood are too high, it is known to contribute to Alzheimer’s development. While it is still too early to state that Goji berries can protect a patient from the damaging effects of too much of the chemical in the blood, the current studies are showing promise.

Only Some Supplements May Be Beneficial Against Alzheimer’s

While several supplements and foods may be of benefit against Alzheimer’s, clearly the information available is always changing. One of the biggest efforts to find a remedy for Alzheimer’s was directly linked to another plant known as ginkgo biloba. Unfortunately, the research clearly demonstrated that the compound does not have any positive effects on the disease. There were two studies performed – one was composed of 3,000 seniors with memory problems and the other followed patients prone to developing Alzheimer’s for about 6 years. Neither of the two studies managed to confirm that Ginkgo biloba could delay mental issues.


Without further study we will not know whether these different supplements can prevent Alzheimer’s. However, what we do know is that scientists are working to find a remedy, and that they will discover treatments that delay the progression of the disease along the way. We also do not yet know whether these supplements can interact with other prescription drugs that patients are given for their Alzheimer’s. As a consequence, prior to venturing to the closest holistic shop to buy any herbs and vitamins, we must ask for advice from a doctor.

Author Bio: Jefferey Morgan wrote this article. He has over ten years experience as a health and nutrition writer. He also writes for a site where you can get high-quality vitamins and supplements at the best possible prices.

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Category: Disease Prevention, Medical Research, Medical Treatment

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