This is another thread I find interesting vivian maxine
It’s not that I’m interested so much in Alzheimers disease i(AD) itself, but I’m intrigued at the amount of research being conducted into the esoteric biochemical aspects of brain metabolism associated with the disease, when a mass of evidence suggests that readily available cheap vitamins are at hand, could be useful, but are being largely ignored.
This is a 2016 review of the literature on The Impact of Vitamin E and Other Fat-Soluble Vitamins on Alzheimer´s Disease
by Grimm, Mett and Hartmann in the Int J Mol Sci
The full article is available free if anyone is interested.
I have taken the following excerpts out myself to make a point.On vitamin A
– “Significantly-lowered serum and plasma concentrations of vitamin A and the provitamin A β-carotene have been observed in AD patients [36,37,38] and enhanced β-carotene plasma levels have been found to be associated with better cognitive performances in the elderly .”
I would expect that when four studies produce such results that someone would have conducted a trial with sensible doses of vitamin A, but the authors of the review state – “However, so far there are no trials analyzing the impact of vitamin A supplementation on the progression of AD in humans.”
Why?On vitamin D
– “Several studies reported a reduced vitamin D3 concentration in the serum/plasma of patients suffering from all cause dementia and AD [33,57,58]. Additionally, low serum vitamin D3 levels were found to be associated with an enhanced risk of cognitive decline in general and in AD [59,60,61,62,63]. In contrast, elevated 25-(OH)D3 plasma/serum levels have been linked to increased cognitive function and greater volumetric measures of several brain structures typically affected by AD [64,65].”
It appears that the only trial of vitamin D reported by these authors was in patients already receiving a proprietary preparation called “memantine”. “Annweiler et al. demonstrated the supplementation of vitamin D3 improved cognition and memory in patients with moderate AD receiving memantine . This might be based on a synergistic neuroprotective effect of memantine plus vitamin D, as illustrated by the reduction of Aβ-induced axonal degeneration in the presence of these compounds . The authors suggested the combination of memantine and vitamin D3 to represent a new multi-target therapeutic class for AD treatment [70,72].”
Why hasn't vitamin D been trialled on its own?On vitamin E
– “In the plasma of patients with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), significantly lowered vitamin E levels have been found [36,37,89,90]. Inversely, higher plasma vitamin E concentrations and an enhanced dietary intake of vitamin E or α-tocopherol equivalents are associated with a reduced AD risk [91,92,93]. Recently, an association between an enhanced γ-tocopherol level and lowered AD neuropathology in human post mortem AD-brain tissue was reported, while α-tocopherol is associated with a higher Aβ load when γ-tocopherol levels are low .”
As distinct from the other fat-soluble vitamins, there appear to have been trials conducted with vitamin E but with mixed results, and cautions about using too much. “Several studies analyzed the impact of vitamin E supplementation on AD progression leading to inconsistent results. While a reduction of the need for care and of disease progression for AD-patients treated with 2000 IU/day α-tocopherol was reported in some trials [95,96], other authors found vitamin E supplementation to have no beneficial effect, or to result in an even more rapid cognitive decline in patients with MCI or AD [97,98]. In this context it should be mentioned that high dosage vitamin E supplements might increase all-cause mortality, as reported by Miller et al., leading the authors to conclude that dosages of more than 400 IU vitamin E/day should be avoided .”On vitamin K
– “In analogy to vitamins A, D, and E, the dietary intake of phylloquinone and, hence, the serum vitamin K concentration, is reported to be decreased in persons suffering from AD [145,146,147]. A possible role of vitamin K in AD-pathogenesis is further given by the discovery of a positive correlation between the serum vitamin K level and the cognitive functions of AD patients [147,148]. Additionally, the use of vitamin K antagonists as anticoagulant medications is associated with a more frequent cognitive impairment among geriatric patients .”
Once again, although associations between dietary intakes and serum concentrations of phylloquinone with the prevalence of AD have been demonstrated in several studies, the authors of this review concluded – “However, so far there are no further data available regarding the impact of vitamin K on the pathological mechanisms of AD.”
Maybe a cocktail of fat-soluble vitamins could even be trialled in an initial study. I realise the above review does not rule out fats themselves as maybe being useful, with the possibility that the vitamins may just be serving as biomarkers of fats.
I like to think I’m rational and open-minded, but I don’t understand why, in view of the findings in the above, and other, reviews, that fat-soluble vitamins (except for vitamin E) have not been trialled. They are readily available, cheap, easily administered, and I'm sure that ample voluntary subjects would put their hands up in retirement homes.
Is the source of research funding now limited to drug companies or university labs that rely on patents of new medications to survive?
I'm curious to hear any other ideas on this.