Food and Behaviour Research

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Inadequate supply of vitamins and DHA in the elderly: implications for brain aging and Alzheimer's type dementia

Mohajeri MH, Troesch B, Weber, P (2015) Nutrition 31(2): 261-75. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.06.016. Epub 2014 Jul 24. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here. Free full text of this article is available online


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent, severe and disabling cause of dementia worldwide. To date, AD therapy is primarily targeted toward palliative treatment of symptoms rather than prevention of disease progression.

So far, no pharmacological interventions have changed the onset or progression of AD and their use is accompanied by side effects. The major obstacle in managing AD and designing therapeutic strategies is the difficulty in retarding neuronal loss in the diseased brain once the pathological events leading to neuronal death have started.

Therefore, a promising alternative strategy is to maintain a healthy neuronal population in the aging brain for as long as possible. One factor evidently important for neuronal health and function is the optimal supply of nutrients necessary for maintaining normal functioning of the brain.

Mechanistic studies, epidemiological analyses and randomized controlled intervention trials provide insight to the positive effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and micronutrients such as the vitamin B family, and vitamins E, C and D, in helping neurons to cope with aging.

These nutrients are cheap in use, have virtually no side effects when used at recommended doses, are essential for life, have established modes of action, and are broadly accepted by the general public.

We provide here some evidence that the use of vitamins and DHA for the aging population in general, and for individuals at-risk in particular, is a viable alternative approach to delaying brain aging and for protecting against the onset of AD pathology.


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