Although scientists are still trying to determine an actual cause for Alzheimer’s, it is known that proper nutrition plays a role in brain health and the prevention of memory impairment. As the brain ages, cells can begin to lose their ability to function and cause problems with memory and critical thinking skills. Fortunately, many common vitamins and minerals have been shown to boost brainpower while also offering additional benefits for a senior’s overall health. If you provide home care in North Houston for elderly parents, here are a few worth including in their daily routine.
This antioxidant supplement not only improves brain health, but it has been shown in studies that those with higher rates of vitamin E in their blood tend to have less dementia-related symptoms. The current recommendation is for all older adults to aim for at least 400-800 IU per day. While most seniors can safely take vitamin E supplements, those who take the medication Tipranavir should be aware that the two together can increase the risk of bleeding.
In the brain, cholinergic neurons play a role in nerve transmissions that affect brain functioning, yet these neurons tend to deteriorate in senior adults, with marked deterioration in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s. Vitamin B1 supports nerve functioning that can reduce these effects. Vitamin B1 can be taken safely by most senior adults and has the added benefit of reducing the risk of cataracts.
Zinc is a mineral of which the majority of senior adults are deficient. Yet, it has been shown to improve cognitive functioning in those who take it as a supplement. Men should be aware, however, that taking more than a 100 mg of the supplement each day can increase the risk for prostate cancer.
In seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s, it has been found that the majority are deficient in folic acid and vitamin B12. These important vitamins help lower the presence of amino acids in the brain. Seniors who want to boost brainpower should aim for 400 to 1000 mcg of folic acid each day.
There is a strong correlation between low vitamin D levels and poor cognitive functioning in seniors with Alzheimer’s. Vitamin D works in the brain by increasing the ability of the glial cells to repair neurons that have been damaged. This essential vitamin also protects against osteoporosis. However, seniors should be careful to avoid supplementing with large doses because it can cause nausea.
Interested in learning more about senior health? Reach out to the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. As the trusted provider of Alzheimer’s senior care North Houston families turn to, helping seniors maintain cognitive vitality as long as possible is our top priority. All of our care services include the use of our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, designed to slow mental decline and stave off dementia. For more information, please call 832-412-1345 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today.