To maintain a healthy brain, Americans and people around the world are increasingly using dietary supplements for nerve health. A recent study found that one in four adults over the age of 50 takes brain-related supplements. But the same study, conducted by experts convened by the AARP, suggests older adults should spend their money elsewhere. Supplements don’t work. This is not a small problem. Billions of dollars have been spent on non-vitamin brain health products such as minerals, herbal blends, nutraceuticals, or amino acids.
A recent study found that one in four adults over the age of 50 takes brain-related supplements. But the same study, conducted by experts convened by the AARP, suggests older adults should spend their money elsewhere. You can get your risk free supplements from Therastore.
This is not a small problem. Billions of dollars have been spent on non-vitamin brain health products such as minerals, herbal blends, nutraceuticals, or amino acids. For seniors, that translates to between $20 and $60 a month, a substantial expense that can be spent on other expenses, including fresh vegetables and fruit.
As a neurologist studying brain health and dementia prevention, Steven Dekosky has spent his entire career studying memory and Alzheimer’s disease, and he can help explain what we know about supplements, nutrition, and brain health and do not understand.
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The FDA does not treat supplements like prescription drugs. Supplements have not been tested by independent labs for the accuracy of their stated ingredients, and the vast majority of them have no legitimate scientific evidence that they are effective. The FDA relies on manufacturers to test supplements for safety, not efficacy. They don’t need to go through rigorous clinical trials, which are available for prescription drugs.
The researchers believe that dissatisfaction or concern over the ability of modern medicine to address brain health in a meaningful way has led people to look for other ways to protect their brains.
However, there is currently no scientifically proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. In addition, some clinical trials of drugs to slow or prevent Alzheimer’s disease have also failed.
As a result, supplements have become a lucrative area for companies, as seen in the majority of people taking such supplements and in the billions of dollars spent each year.
Surely some of these must work? Yes, vitamins can, although most people don’t need to take vitamin supplements. There is overwhelming evidence that if you eat a normal diet, you do not need supplemental vitamins or minerals. There are some exceptions. If people don’t have enough food to provide vitamin B12 or vitamin B6, they may need to take supplements. In the case of B12, some older adults have difficulty absorbing this vitamin in their digestive system. In these cases, doctors detect low B12 levels and treat it. Sometimes, a person needs an injection because the B12 in the capsule is also not absorbed.
Some people take vitamins and in New Zealand supplements for nerve health on the “more is better.” This is not the case with supplements or even vitamins. Why? Because the body can only digest a certain amount of vitamins, any excess cannot be absorbed; in the case of water-soluble vitamins, it can make your urine expensive. Also, sometimes “more” is dangerous. Some vitamins can cause poisoning and disease if taken in excess. This is especially true of excess intake of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Do these supplements meet the safety and efficacy standards required by our prescription medicines? Some have Ginkgo biloba, as Ginkgo biloba can prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, but also improve normal memory. These studies show that none of these methods work.
Even more concerning, many of these supplements don’t always contain the compounds advertised. Some mixtures contain small amounts of toxic or harmful ingredients that get into the product somewhere during the collection and manufacturing process. When these drugs cause a disease, it’s brought to the FDA ‘s attention, and they’ll investigate and possibly ban a product. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) bans health supplement makers from making specific health claims, but companies have found a way to tout their miraculous benefits.
They use phrases like “research proof” or “lab test”, among other things that sound scientific. Some of them claim that the product “maintains good brain health.”
For example, the label on a bottle of ginkgo Biloba says: “Supports healthy brain function and mental alertness.” Ginkgo biloba is a brain-boosting supplement that is especially popular with older adults.
But there is an asterisk here. Turn the bottle over and you’ll see the warning behind the asterisk: ” This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease.”
Some companies that sell other types of dietary supplements recently received letters from the FDA asking them to revise their advertisements to not exaggerate the benefits of their products.
As baby enter their old age, they are trying to find ways to stay healthy, especially their brains. A 2012 Marist poll for Home Instead Senior Care found that Americans fear Alzheimer’s more than any other disease. The survey also revealed that the biggest concern among older adults was a cognitive loss, either normal memory loss or worse, dementia.
There is a lot of research done about the importance of antioxidants in the diet. Antioxidants are important for the continued health of many organs in the body, including the brain.
However, many scientific studies have failed to prove that taking antioxidants in pill form improves or protects memory from declining with age or brain disease. The interaction of chemicals in the food on your plate may contribute to good health. The researchers measured the number of antioxidants in the diets through the people in the study’s “food diaries.” Research shows that high levels of antioxidants in foods do help in the long run, although taking pills with more antioxidants doesn’t help. Scientists don’t yet know why. This may be because we humans have evolved to obtain beneficial substances from food, rather than in isolation, and the way they work can be complex. You may have difficulty using or metabolizing these tablets. Our researchers don’t yet know the exact mechanism.
All in all, while these claims sound great, it’s the small print on these supplements that says they haven’t been approved by the FDA. Therefore, the researchers believe that the conclusions of the recent study are reasonable. It’s better to focus on a healthy diet, and perhaps spend the money on green leafy vegetables and other food components that make up good nutrition.