Dr. Amanda Wiggins
Xtendlife Research Scientist
Dr. Amanda Wiggins works with Xtendlife as the Chief Research Scientist, where she shares her knowledge of research, science, and wellness.
The term dementia refers to a group of diseases, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common form. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning - thinking, remembering, and reasoning - to such an extent that it interferes with a person's daily life and activities.
About 3% of adults aged 70 to 74 will develop dementia. That’s about 1 in every 33 people in that age bracket. The prevalence of dementia increases with age. About one-third of people over 85 will have some form of dementia.
It is not known exactly why some people develop dementia while others only ever suffer occasional forgetfulness. An increased rate of brain shrinkage (atrophy) is one of the hallmarks of people who eventually develop dementia.
In a groundbreaking clinical study, researchers at Oxford University looked at the rate of brain shrinkage in those over the age of 70 who were suffering mild cognitive impairment.
One group of participants received supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. The other group received a placebo. The rate of brain shrinkage was assessed by MRI scans over two years.
The rate of brain shrinkage for those in the B-vitamin treatment group was 30% less on average than for those who received the placebo.
On closer inspection (called retrospective analysis), the researchers discovered something else: the level of omega-3 fatty acids in a person's blood determines how effective (or not effective) B vitamins are.
Those with high baseline omega-3 fatty acids had the best results from treatment with B vitamins; their rate of brain shrinkage was a whopping 40% less on average, compared to the placebo group.
As a Neuroscientist, I don't use the term "groundbreaking" lightly when it comes to research.
These studies are by far the most conclusive to date in identifying a way to reduce a person's risk of developing dementia.
And the way to achieve it is so simple!
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of greens, poultry, and some red meat, plus oily fish. If that is not possible, protect yourself by supplementing with a good quality Omega-3 product and B vitamins.
In good health,
Dr. Amanda Wiggins