is a terrible, horrible, awful condition for anyone to go through. If you’ve know someone who is suffereing from the disease, you can certainly see why it is so difficult to deal with.
Fortunately, researchers are constantly on the prowl to find ways to slow – or even prevent – the disease
. And it now looks like they’ve re-affirmed something they’ve been suspecting for a while now.The Power of Nutrition
What they found was that having a diet that contains high levels of certain vitamins could slow down or even prevent the brain from shrinking, which is a direct result of Alzheimer's disease. According to a new study that was published in the online issue of Neurology
, a medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, people who had a diet that contained large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids
were much less likely to have the brain shrinkage that is commonly associated with Alzheimer's.
Additionally, consuming large quantities of vitamin C, D, E and B also improved brain health. Details of the Study
The research involved studying 104 people who had an average age of 87, and who all had very few risk factors for memory and thinking problems. To determine the levels of each nutrient in the individual's blood stream, several blood tests were taken. Following the blood tests, each participant took a couple of tests that measured their memory capacity and thinking skills. Only 42 participants had their brain volume measured through Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI. The participants were overall very healthy, however seven individuals had vitamin B deficiency, and a quarter of the participants were deficient in vitamin D.
Traditionally, memory and thinking skills were measured through questionnaires, but left too much room for outside variables to interfere with the results. Instead, the researchers decided to use nutrient biomarkers in the blood to analyze the effect of diet on memory, in what marks the first time these nutrient biomarkers were used in this way. It proved to be much more efficient, as it allowed the memory and thinking skills to be more accurately assessed, and tracked how many nutrients were absorbed by the body. Eat Up
So can eating foods high in vitamin C, D, E and B, as well as omega-3 fatty acids really combat brain shrinkage and Alzheimer's? More research needs to be conducted of course, but all evidence points to confirming that this indeed the case. Foods that are high in vitamin C are fairly easy to come by. Apart from oranges, other foods high in the vitamin include strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and turnips. Foods that are high in vitamin B include mostly seafood, such as clams and mussels, caviar, octopus, fish, crab, lobster, lamb, beef and eggs. Perhaps the more difficult nutrient to seek out would be the omega-3 fatty acids, of which flax seeds, walnuts, cloves, sardines, salmon, tofu, shrimp and soybeans all contain.
And, if you can’t seem to get enough of these nutrients through your diet, you can always beef up your intake with supplements.