Alzheimer's Disease

Specific nutritional needs in Alzheimer’s disease

The function of neuronal membranes profoundly relies on the composition of phospholipids. Changes to that composition could lead to the instability of membranes and subsequent loss of synapses, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. 1

In Alzheimer’s disease, there is an increased need for specific nutrients in the brain. 2

Research has shown that people with early Alzheimer’s disease, compared with healthy, aged-matched individuals, often have a low availability – both in the circulation and in the brain – of certain key nutrients.  3–8 These include DHA, choline, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Each of these nutrients has an important role in supporting brain health. B-vitamins, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for neuronal functioning and cognition. 9–13

It therefore follows that these same nutrients could have important roles to play in the pathophysiological processes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Recent reviews show no clear benefits of supplementation with single nutrients such as vitamin E, 14 folic acid, multivitamin B supplements, 15 or omega-3 fatty acids 16 in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. However, evidence does suggest that for a nutritional intervention in Alzheimer’s disease to be effective, it should contain multiple nutritional components. 17

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