24 September 2018 | News | By NFS Correspondent
A US-made capsule containing a unique combination of nutrients is being launched in New York, following a small, pilot study in Europe which showed that the supplement could benefit people with Alzheimer's Disease (AD), which is the sixth leading cause of death in the USA.
Buoyed by studies over 15 years which have proven the key role of nutrition on the human brain, an 18-month pilot trial examined the effect of nutritional compounds found in common foods such as trout, broccoli, and peppers on people with the condition, and unveiled a statistically significant find.
Published in the respected Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (JAD), trial participants were identified to have positive outcomes, including functional benefits in memory, sight and mood, based on carer reports.
In the recent study led by the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) in collaboration with University Hospital Waterford (UHW), scientists found that patients receiving a formula containing the macular carotenoids Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin, combined with a specifically designed fish oiliv maintained cognitive abilities and quality of lifev.
This discovery has paved the way for a larger-scale, double-blind, placebo controlled, clinical trial called re-MIND (Memory Intervention with Nutrition for Dementia), which is now underway in Europe with 120 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease and will report its findings in 2020. It is hoped the study will be extended to international research partners.
Professor John Nolan, founder of the NRCI, explains, "This work follows many years of research into the role of nutrients on brain and ocular health. We know from several large-scale population-based studies that nutrition is a key factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease, and importantly, what the major nutrients of the brain are. However, attempts to identify an exact combination of nutrients that can positively impact on brain health have failed - until now. This recent work identified a unique way to enhance the localized nutrients of the brain, and adds to our earlier work which demonstrated the memory enhancing effect of carotenoids in the normal populationvi.Given our growing and ageing population, we believe our studies will guide further research and perceptions worldwide about the role of nutrition on brain function, especially considering we live in a time where we are all living longer and where the nutritional value of foods continues to decline."
Professor Riona Mulcahy from University Hospital Waterford, a medical consultant to the re-MIND trial added, "Up-to-date best medical advice suggests that you can lower your risk of AD through moderate alcohol intake, not smoking, being physically and mentally active, and eating a well-balanced diet. Our work shows that diet deficiency is a key component. Science is now helping us understand exactly what nutrients our brains need. It's a very exciting development."
Dr. George Perry, Texas-based editor in chief of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease added, "The initial trial findings are some of the first to demonstrate meaningful preservation of function in Alzheimer's disease. If the findings are confirmed in the ongoing larger double-blind study, it could safely transform treatment."