FAQ Minerals & Supplements: Risk of Dementia
1. “I’m scared of getting dementia. Can the right minerals help? I’ve read about the link with A-Fib. What does research reveal about this risk?”
A-Fib and Dementia are two diseases that seem to parallel each other. Like A-Fib, Dementia seems to increase with age, diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, smoking history, and systemic inflammation. Dr. T. Jared Bunch of the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah, identified two other mechanisms of both A-Fib and Dementia: Vitamin D Deficiency and the APOE gene. Both cause less blood to the brain and loss of oxygen, mini clots and vascular problems.
Ablation Decreases Risk of Dementia and Risk of Stroke and Early Death
Several studies showed that people with A-Fib who had an ablation had about the same risk of Dementia (and the same risk of having a stroke) as normal people, while people with A-Fib who didn’t have an ablation had much more risk of developing Dementia (and higher 5 year stroke risk). [Ablation probably increases blood flow to the brain and is responsible for decreasing the risk of Dementia.]
Supplements to Prevent Dementia
Dr. Bunch’s research identified supplements to help prevent Dementia:
• Antioxidant vitamins (E, C, Beta carotene, Flavonoids) They may decrease brain lesions associated with free radical exposure, but evidence is mixed.
• Vitamins B6, B12, Folate, and Vitamin D Vitamin D deficiency tracks with the development of both Dementia and A-Fib, but it’s not yet known if supplementation reduces the risk.
• Omega Fatty Acids/Fish Oil Low intake is associated with Dementia; studies do show the benefit of fish consumption on the risk of Dementia and cognitive decline.
Patients with more active lifestyles have lower risks of Dementia and cognitive decline.
What this means to you: Early intervention, such as A-Fib ablation, proper vitamins and minerals, along with an active lifestyle may improve long-term cognitive outcomes and reduce the risk of Dementia to that of patients with no history of A-Fib.
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