Dr. Michael Newman, DNM., Ph.D., HHP.
Dr. Michael Newman, DNM., Ph.D., HHP.
February 21, 2024 ·  7 min read

A Natural Approach To Early-Onset Dementia

The term “Early-Onset Dementia” (EOD) defines all dementia-related conditions with the onset occurring before 65 years of age (Giannakopoulos et al., 1996). Dementia, defined by the Alzheimer’s Association, is a general term for memory loss, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities severe enough to obstruct daily life. Alzheimer’s is considered the most frequent cause of dementia and can contribute to up to 70% of all cases (Breijyeh & Karaman, 2020).

New Research on Diabetes and the Onset and Risk of Developing Dementia

retired couple holding hands and looking at each other at home
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Did you know that according to some researchers, Alzheimer’s is considered “diabetes of the brain” or “type 3 diabetes?” This lesser-known type, while not an official diagnosis, is thought to be associated with insulin resistance within the brain. It has significant potential to impact neurocognition and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease (Nguyen et al., 2020). More research is needed to fully understand the link between diabetes, insulin resistance, and Alzheimer’s.

Read More: Avoid These 5 Foods if You Have Kidney Disease and Diabetes

Diet and Dementia Risk

Elderly woman hands putting missing white jigsaw puzzle piece down into the place as a human brain shape. Creative idea for memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and mental health concept.
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Managing your diet’s glucose (sugar) is essential for brain health. Studies have shown that specific food or a particular diet can help prevent or delay dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. One such diet showing promising evidence is the Mediterranean diet. This diet might help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia or slow cognitive decline. The Mediterranean diet comprises low glycemic index fruits, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein sources, including fish, seafood, and poultry. At the same time, you should cut down on refined sugars found in processed foods, which lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Natural Approaches to Early-Onset Dementia

Young woman in park wearing winter clothing walking with old grandmother. Smiling lovely caregiver and senior lady walking in park during autumn and looking at each other with copy space.
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Studies show that loved ones diagnosed with EOD can benefit from non-pharmacologic approaches, including cognitively engaging activities such as reading, daily walking, and socialization. In contrast, pharmacologic approaches can provide modest symptomatic relief (Arvanitakis et al., 2019).

Are Vitamins and Supplements Useful in the Treatment of Early-Onset Dementia?

Woman hands holding glass of water, vitamins and supplements. B12, D3, selenium. Vitamins for vegans.
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Besides lifestyle changes, introducing alternative treatments for dementia would include providing the body (brain) with natural raw materials, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for cognitive health. A list of supplements that show promising evidence for preventative or early-onset dementia, including, but not limited to:    

Folic acid (B9)

Food rich in folic acid or vitamin B9. Natural food sources of folic acid: avocado, cauliflower, broccoli, eggs, tomato, spinach, beans, nuts, parsley. Various food ingredients with Vitamin B9 letters
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There is some evidence that folate deficiency can contribute to the cognitive impairment of the aging brain, sometimes leading to reversible dementia. Some studies suggest that folate deficiency affects the nervous system (Reynolds, 2002). Folic acid has anti-inflammatory and memory-enhancing properties. Supplementing a diet higher in folic acid for your loved ones may significantly improve their cognitive performance while reducing systemic inflammation (Ma et al., 2016).

Product Recommendation: New Roots Active Folate, 60 capsules.
5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) is the most biologically active form of B-vitamin folic acid, also known generically as folate. Particular neurological and cognitive shows may be secondary to a folate deficiency found in dementia patients. The New Roots Active Folate (B9) is in the biologically active form of B9.

Thiamine (B1)

Foods Highest in Vitamin B1 (Thiamin). Healthy diet eating. Top view
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This B vitamin has been connected to neurological problems and dementia. An interaction between nutrition and dementia is related to low thiamine (vitamin B1) levels (Gibson et al., 2016). Supplementing with thiamine may help with neurological health.

Product Recommendation: Natural Factors Benfotiamine, 150 mg plus Thiamine Diphosphate, 30 capsules.
Benfotiamine is like a regular thiamine (vitamin B1) supplement but is more absorbable, making it better than your standard B1 thiamine vitamin product. The body converts benfotiamine to thiamine. Studies show that thiamine deficiency is associated with neurological problems, including cognitive deficits found in dementia patients. This is an excellent preventative supplement.

Read More: Study: Deadly Flesh-Eating Genital Infection Linked to Certain Diabetes Medication

Vitamin E

Foods Highest in Vitamin B1 (Thiamin). Healthy diet eating. Top view
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Studies show that this antioxidant, vitamin E, may reduce the risk of dementia onset (Giraldo et al., 2014). A diet adequate in vitamin E or vitamin E supplementation may help reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly (Zhao et al., 2022).

Product Recommendation: Natural Factors Mixed Vitamin e400iu, 90 softgels.
People who supplement with a regular vitamin E that contains only alpha-tocopherol (or one of the synthetic variations) should consider switching to a natural, full-spectrum vitamin E like Natural Factors Mixed Vitamin e400iu. For example, the Natural Factors Mixed Vitamin e400iu, which includes the gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, and gamma-tocotrienol, have been shown to have significant biological activity in the body, which may be involved in helping to regulate blood pressure. In addition, people with low gamma-tocopherol have been found to have a higher incidence of cognitive decline.

Ginko Biloba

Healing properties of seeds and leaves of ginkgo biloba in herbal medicine.
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In clinical trials of the efficacy of supplementing with Ginko Biloba in 1998, meta-analysis found some benefits with dementia subjects (DeKosky, 2008) (Weinmann et al., 2010).

Product Recommendation: Naka Ginkgo Biloba, 400 mg 120 capsules.
The great thing about the Naka Gingko Biloba product is that its main Ingredients are made up of both Ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% Ginkgo terpene lactones, which is a standard proprietary extract that has been tested in several clinical trials for dementia. It shows mild positive effects, making this brand superior to other brands that don’t have this Ginkgo combination. Ginkgo Biloba has been suggested to help with memory problems.  

Creatine Monohydrate

Sports supplement, creatine, hmb, bcaa, amino acid or powdered vitamin. Sports nutrition concept. bcaa, l-carnitine, creatine
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Supplementing with creatine has been shown to improve cognition and memory, mainly in older adults or during a stressful metabolic period (i.e., lack of quality and quantity of sleep) (Candow et al., 2023). Some researchers have also suggested that creatine may provide cognitive benefits in those with a possible risk for dementia by helping with mental fatigue, sleep, and memory (Yassine & Albensi, 2021).    

Product Recommendation: Naka PRO Creatine 100% Pure Micronized, 400 g  
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements available, and micronized creatine is a type of creatine supplement that has been processed to be more easily absorbed by the body. Some researchers have proposed that taking in extra micronized creatine may supply cognitive benefits in those at risk for dementia. 

Early Diagnosis and Lifestyle Change are Key to Success

Healthy senior woman smiling while holding some green juice in her kitchen. Mature woman serving herself wholesome vegan food at home. Woman taking care of her aging body with a plant-based diet.
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A healthy lifestyle, diet, and natural supplemental approach can assist in lowering or lessening the effects of developing dementia while delaying symptoms. You and your loved ones diagnosed with dementia deserve the highest quality of life.

If you have been diagnosed with EOD, or you are the caregiver for a loved one with EOD, you already know how demanding and stressful the situation can be. However, help is available – and you are not alone on this challenging journey. 

Please consult your primary health care provider or nutritionist before taking supplements, including vitamins, minerals, or herbal medicine. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding your medical condition and any diet changes. Never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of something you have read online.

Read More: Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes and Balance Blood Sugar with These 10 Foods

Written By: Dr. Michael Newman, DNM., Ph.D., HHP.
Doctor of Natural Medicine, Research Scientist and Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner 

Dr. Mike holds a Master’s, Doctorate and Ph.D. in Quantum Natural Integrative Medicine and has been recognized by the International Association of Therapists and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as an expert in the health field.
Dr. Mike practices Preventative Medicine and specializes in Stress Response Dysfunctions (SRD) and works with individuals who are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, sleep dysregulation, digestive health issues and weight management.
Dr. Mike holds diplomas in Clinical and Holistic Nutrition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

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