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Mushroom Extract, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil: Common Alzheimer’s Prevention Myths

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Many home remedies and herbal supplements are rumored to be memory aids for seniors. Although medical researchers are still searching for treatment solutions, many homebrewed prevention methods lack definitive evidence.

Common Alzheimer’s prevention myths, like mushroom extract, coconut oil, and olive oil, are not supported by substantial medical research. However, some memory care methods can help protect brain health to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s progression.

Mushroom Extract

Some preclinical studies (including animal or small-scale human studies) have examined how Lion’s mane (also called Monkey Head) mushroom extract may prevent dementia. The studies found it may help reduce inflammation and decrease plaque buildup (abnormal, sticky protein clusters attached to nerve cells).

A 6-year investigation examined the correlation between eating various mushrooms and cognitive decline. According to their review, eating 2 cups of cooked mushrooms every week could lead to a 50% lower risk of cognitive impairment. The research suggested the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be the reason for the positive effects.

Unfortunately, as the evidence is limited, mushroom extract is not medically supported as a prevention method. Yet, for people who enjoy mushrooms, adding cooked Lion’s mane to your weekly diet can have benefits.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been praised for its health benefits, from antioxidant properties to weight loss support. But how it relates to mind health is a substance called ketones.

The cells in your body (including brain cells) need energy to function. The body prefers energy from sugar or blood glucose. But it can break down fat when sugar is low or unavailable, like when you have a low carbohydrate diet or participate in strenuous activity. Breaking down fats (like coconut oil) for energy produces ketones.

Alzheimer’s disease affects brain function, including how brain cells receive energy to repair damage. Ketones produced from digesting coconut oil can provide an alternative energy source. As a result, the brain gets the energy it needs to moderate damage caused by Alzheimer’s.

However, research into the benefits of coconut oil for brain health is limited. Without evidence from reputable, large-scale studies, coconut oil remains a myth. Still, when you enjoy the flavor of coconut oil, it can be a part of a balanced diet—and adopting a healthy diet has multiple benefits.

Olive Oil

One food alone cannot prevent Alzheimer’s—at least not according to current research. However, a balanced diet can help reduce risks. And olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, a diet associated with multiple health benefits. The Mediterranean diet is also the root of the MIND diet.

The MIND diet is the combination of 2 diet styles designed to reduce dementia and declining brain health. The acronym stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The “DASH” aspect is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

One analytical study showed seniors following the MIND diet experienced a 53% reduced rate of Alzheimer’s disease. Still, although olive oil is a part of the MIND diet, It’s one part of a diverse offering of delicious, healthy foods. Other staples of the MIND diet include leafy greens, whole grains, fish, and beans.

Adding olive oil to your diet—with the support of other healthy foods—may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Notably, a 2021 study suggests a plant compound found in extra-virgin olive oil can reduce the formation of amyloid (protein) deposits. The deposits block communication between brain cells, negatively affecting brain health.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oils are vital for brain development and function. Low levels of omega-3 are associated with memory and learning problems. Some studies have shown positive improvements in mild cognitive impairment, including age-related changes. However, no studies support the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The greatest benefits of omega-3 come from years or a lifetime of consumption, supporting brain health through all stages of life. So as part of your regular diet, fish can be good for your brain health. But adding omega-3 supplements in the later stages of Alzheimer’s is unlikely to make a significant difference.

Can Home Remedies Work?

Extracts, supplements, and diets can support a healthy lifestyle. But no single herbal supplement or exercise can be perfectly effective. It’s also crucial to talk to a doctor first, so they can evaluate the benefits and risks.

Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment are often multifactorial—meaning you may need to try a few or several solutions. For example, memory care involves a holistic approach, supporting emotional, mental, and physical health. Seniors may participate in social activities, physical exercises, and memory therapies.

The heart-head connection is one of the most significant considerations for prevention. About 80% of people with Alzheimer’s also have cardiovascular disease. Managing heart health—through diet and exercise—can help protect brain health.

Mental stimulation, including social relationships and cognitive training, can help prevent Alzheimer’s. Maintaining or increasing connections can boost mood and improve memory function. Therefore, having a close-knit community and access to meaningful activities is essential.

Prevention & Support with Memory Care

Many common prevention myths start with good intentions, and some have potential benefits. But prevention is a lifestyle, and it can be easier with the support of a community and a team dedicated to senior wellbeing. We offer a personalized memory care program to enrich your loved one’s experience. We prioritize their health, safety, and happiness. Contact us or visit a Fox Trail Memory Care community in New Jersey to learn about memory care.

Written by adminfoxtrail

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