Pharmaceutical researchers continue developing medications in hopes of preventing the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Efforts thus far haven’t produced monumental results. However, along with medical interventions, nutrition and physical activity play a role in cognitive health. B complex vitamins are essential for nerve and neuron health and function. There’s evidence the nutrients may also interfere with the mechanisms that cause cognitive impairment.
The Importance of B Vitamins
Several B vitamins are necessary for overall health. B3, B6, B9, and B12 are vital for the health and function of the brain and central nervous system. Vitamins B3 and B9 play a role in creating and repairing DNA. Vitamin B6 assists in developing the neurotransmitting chemicals nerve cells and neurons need to communicate. Vitamin B12 is necessary for nerve cell reproduction and maintenance.
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Edmonton Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
The Homocysteine Link
Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s often have elevated homocysteine levels. The chemical compound occurs naturally in the body as a result of protein metabolism. However, when levels rise too high, the compound plays a role in brain atrophy and neuron damage. Homocysteine also plays an integral role in the development of LDL cholesterol. Elevated LDL cholesterol levels lead to the development of atherosclerosis secondary to plaque formation. Plaques narrow blood vessels, which diminishes blood flow to the brain and throughout the body. Seniors who take recommended amounts of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 daily protect their neurons. The B complex vitamins decrease homocysteine levels and interfere with the compound’s damaging capabilities.
A trained professional caregiver can prepare nutritious meals and encourage your loved one to engage in cognition-boosting exercises. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Edmonton elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Dr. Jonathan E. Prousky, the Chief Naturopathic Medical Officer at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, published an article in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine explaining decades of research that attributes brain health to vitamin B3. Prousky provides extensive documentation dating back to the 1940s proclaiming the benefits of oral and intravenous B3 administration in older adults with dementia. Thus far, the nutrient has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. The vitamin also increases blood circulation to the brain and other body regions secondary to the vitamin’s role in dilating blood vessels. B3 is necessary for cellular metabolism and the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. Vitamin B3 also reduces neuron axon damage while allowing the axons to increase in density by interfering with the precursor protein needed to produce amyloid proteins. Amyloid proteins contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s by accumulating, clumping together, and causing neuron damage.
B Vitamin Sources
There’s a wide selection of foods that are rich sources of all the B vitamins. Some are excellent when desiring to increase vitamin B3, B6, and B12 levels.
Vitamin B3 – 400 to 1,000 micrograms daily
• Fortified cereals and grains
• Fresh produce
• Whole grains
Vitamin B6 – 1.3 to 100 milligrams daily
• Cantaloupe, oranges, and papayas
• Dark leafy green vegetables
• Fish and poultry
• Fortified cereals
Vitamin B12 – 2.4 micrograms daily (no upper limit has been established)
• Dairy products
• Fish, poultry, and red meat
• Fortified cereals
If your loved one finds it challenging to get the necessary amount of vitamins and nutrients every day, consider bringing in a trained professional caregiver to help. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Edmonton families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (780) 977-7379 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.