Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in the United States, with over 10% of all Americans aged 65 or older having the condition. According to the CDC, “Dementia is not a specific disease but is a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interfere with everyday activities.” Therefore, even if not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, different forms and levels of dementia afflict many more Americans than most realize. Despite there being no foolproof cure or preventative measures for these diseases, some vitamin supplements can help limit the severity or postpone the onset of these memory ailments.
What Causes Dementia?
Dementia does not have a specific trigger, and it is not a normal part of aging, as many people suspect. Older Americans are more likely to suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, but a large percentage of the population will not face these specific memory problems as they age. Alzheimer’s risks include the following:
- Age: Age is still the most important factor for Alzheimer’s and dementia risks. Most cases of dementia manifest following age 65, and the percentage snowballs as that number grows.
- Family History: Your history of family members with dementia can affect your chance of contracting the disease as well. A variation in the APOE gene is infamous for being a cause of Alzheimer’s within a family lineage.
- Health and Injuries – Cardiovascular problems and traumatic brain injuries are both known to lead to an increase in the percentage chance of developing Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
Preventative Measures With Vitamins
As people age, they tend to have less of their required vitamins in nutrients in their bodies unless supplemented by external medications or supplements. Some vitamins have been shown to help prevent or reduce dementia, while other vitamin supplements aid in the overall goal of a healthy aging body. Naturally, considering health factors like head injuries or cardiovascular problems can increase dementia likelihood, having a healthy body to help repair and prevent issues helps through a holistic approach to healing.
Zinc: Zinc deficiency is one of the most prevalent forms of malnutrition in the world, leading to increased inflammation in the body. Over 10% of the proteins in the body interact with zinc in some way. Research has suggested that zinc supplementation was associated with slower cognitive decline and a reduced risk of such declines occurring.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D has long been known to affect the strength and health of the skeletal system, making it an essential vitamin for all ages to intake by the recommended amount. New studies have confirmed that vitamin D deficiencies are also associated with a substantial increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.
Fatty Acids: The direct link between cognition and the supplementation of fatty acids is not yet completely understood. Still, participants in a cognition and memory study who received a supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids performed better than their counterparts who received only a placebo. The benefits of fatty acids, such as their assistance with an efficient cardiovascular system, meaning they are also being researched regarding memory loss and dementia prevention.
Dementia is complicated, as researchers have studied it for decades without fully understanding the mechanisms behind it. Despite the unknowns, taking control of your health through vitamin supplements gives you the best chance of living a happy and healthy life without suffering from cognition and memory problems.
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