Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive deterioration of the brain. It affects memory and thought, as well as communication and the ability to make decisions. Although the symptoms are usually mild at the onset of the disease, they often progress to such an extent that work and socializing become impossible.

Alzheimer’s usually afflicts people who are over the age of sixty. The most common symptoms are memory loss, inability to recognize family or friends, difficulty speaking and remembering words, personality changes, and difficulty making decisions. If you fear that yourself or someone you love may have Alzheimer’s, see a doctor for a diagnosis. This disease is incurable, but its progress can often be slowed down. The following supplements can help.

Supplements to treat Alzheimer’s Disease

• Acetyl-L-Carnitine
• Alpha-lipoic acid – Improves blood sugar levels so diabetics may be able to take less medication.
• B-complex vitamins
• Bilberry
• Carotenoids – Do not take for extended periods of time. Do not take high dosages if you have liver disease, are a smoker, or are exposed to asbestos. Beta carotene is perhaps the best known of the carotenoids because of its potential vitamin A activity. Diets rich in carotenoids, especially lycopene, may prevent prostate cancer. Other carotenoids may protect against ovarian cancer. Dietary sources rich in beta carotene and other provitamin A carotenoids include carrots, broccoli, yellow squash, corn, tomatoes, papayas, oranges, and dark green leafy vegetables.
• Coenzyme Q10
• EPA/DHA (fish oil)
• Ginkgo biloba
• Huperzine A – This Chinese herb should not be taken with other medications for Alzheimer’s disease.
• Inositol
• Magnesium
• NADH – Reduced and more active form of niacin.
• Phosphatidylcholine (Lecithin) – Use with caution if you have malabsorption problems, as this could exacerbate them.
• Phosphatidylserine – This product is particularly helpful to prevent Alzheimer’s, as well as toward the onset of the disease.
• Selenium
• Vinpocetine – Do not take if you are taking a blood thinner.
• Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – High doses can depete your body of other vitamins in the B complex.
• Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin E – Take mixed tocopherols, the more active type of vitamin E. Consult healthcare provider first if you are taking a blood thinner.

Supplements to improve memory

• Acetyl-L-Carnitine
• Alpha-lipoic acid
• B-complex vitamins
• Coenzyme Q10
• EPA/DHA (fish oil)
• Ginkgo biloba
• N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – When taking NAC supplements, also take extra vitamin C, copper, and zinc.
• Phosphatidylcholine (Lecithin) – Use with caution if you have malabsorption problems, as this could exacerbate them.
• Phosphatidylserine
• Resveratrol
• Selenium
• Vinpocetine
• Vitamin A and mixed carotenoids – Use caution when taking vitamin A supplements because they have the potential to be toxic. Do not take for extended periods of time. Do not take high doses if you have liver disease, are a smoker, or are exposed to asbestos.
• Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
• Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E

Your Daily Meal Pattern

MyPyramid Basics

In 2005, MyPyramid was unveiled to replace the Food Guide Pyramid. MyPyramid provides Americans age 2 and above with an outline for how to eat in a more healthful way each day.

MyPyramid is based on the 2005 version of the Dietary Guide for Americans. Together, they are designed to help Americans consume an appropriate amount of calories to support a healthy body weight and, at the same time, maximize nutrient intake.

MyPyramid emphasizes three key principles:

• Variety – Consume items from all the basic food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and beans, milk, and oils) and subgroups (including dark green, deep orange, and starchy vegetables as well as legumes such as beans and peas).
• Proportion – Consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products and eat fewer foods rich in saturated or trans fats, added sugars, cholesterol, salt, and alcohol.
• Moderation – Choose foods that offer lower amounts of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, cholesterol, salt, and alcohol.

Daily Food Guide

MyPyramid provides 12 daily meal patterns to meet individual calorie needs for Americans age 2 and above. Calorie levels range from 1,000 to 3,200 calories; individual calorie recommendations are based on age, sex, and activity level.

MyPyramid breaks down foods and beverages into specific food categories. Here’s what’s included in each one:

• Fruits – All fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and fruit juices made or prepared without added sugars or fats.
• Vegetables – All fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and vegetable juices made or prepared without added sugars or fats. Subcategories include dark green, deep orange, and starchy vegetables as well as legumes (beans and peas; these can also be counted in the Meat and Beans category).
• Grains – Whole grains and foods made with whole grains (for example, wheat, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other cereal grains) and refined grains (for example, white flour, degermed cornmeal, white bread, and white rice).
• Meat and Beans – Meats and poultry (lean), fish, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), tofu and other soy foods, nuts, nut butter, and seeds.
• Milk – All low-fat or fat-free milks, yogurts, frozen yogurts, dairy desserts, cheeses, and lactose-free and lactose-reduced products and made or prepared without added sugar.
• Oils – Vegetable oils; mayonnaise; some salad dressings; and vegetable oil spreads and soft margarines that are added to foods during processing, cooking, or at the table.
• Discretionary Calories – Calories from added sugars, solid fats, or alcohol, or calories from the extra fat or sugar in foods made wit or that naturally contain more fat and sugar (for example, high-fat meats or fruit made with added sugar)

The Food Guide Pyramid was the nutrition guide of the United States Department of Agriculture used before the development of MyPyramid in 2005.

The Dietary Guide for Americans is a set of science-based guidelines published every 5 years by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They’re used to create national nutrition policies, and a new version is expected in 2010.


Fruits contain several key nutrients and other beneficial substances. They provide simple carbohydrates and are naturally low in fat and sodium and contain no cholesterol. Because of their high water and fiber content, fruits tend to filling and can therefore be useful allies if you’re trying to lose or manage your weight. They’re also relatively low in calories. Studies show that consuming fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful, nutritious diet can reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases (including strokes), type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Although all fruits are healthful, some are standouts. Whole fruits typically contain fewer calories and more fiber than more concentrated – and more caloric – varieties such as dried fruits or fruit juices. Some high-fiber fruits include pears, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, and guava.

Many fruits provide good source of vitamins and minerals. Some fruits that are high in vitamin A include mango, cantaloupe, and apricots. Vitamin C-rich fruits include guava, papaya, oranges, and orange juice. Fruits rich in potassium include bananas, plantains, and organs.

Some fruits are also rich sources of phytochemicals such as carotenoids (beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), flavonoids (anthocyanidins, flavanols, flavonones, and proanthocyanidins), and phenols (caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and resveratrol); following are examples.

• Carotenoids – Citrus fruits, peaches, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, pumpkin, and guava
• Flanonoids – Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, red grapes, apples, and citrus fruits
• Phenols – Apples, pears, citrus fruits, and purple grape juice

Daily Recommended Amounts

MyPyramid recommends between 1 and 2 ½ cups of fruit each day depending on your individual daily calorie allotment.

Each of the following counts as approximately ½ cup of fruit (or about 60 calories):

• ½ cup cut up, raw, cooked, or frozen fruit
• 1 piece of fruit (1 small orange, peach, or banana)
• ½ cup 100% fruit juice (orange juice, cranberry juice, or grape juice)
• ¼ cup dried fruit (1 small box of raisins, 1 ½ ounces)

Carotenoids are a group of compounds naturally found in plant foods (including fruits and vegetables) that provide their deep yellow, orange, and red colors. Carotenoids convert to vitamin A in the body and can work as antioxidants, boosting immunity, promoting heart health, and supporting vision.

Flavonoids are a group of compounds found naturally in plant foods (including fruits and vegetables). They can act as antioxidants, supporting heart health, helping maintain brain function, and supporting health of the urinary tract.

Phenols are compounds found naturally in plants and plant foods. They can work as antioxidants, supporting a healthy heart, and helping maintain vision.

Function of Fats

Fats provide the body with a key source of energy. Although glucose is the main source of energy for the brain and nervous system, muscle tissues prefer fats for energy. During exercise, muscles rely on fats for energy after glucose and glycogen (stored glucose) have been depleted.

Fats also insulate and protect our bodies and vital organs, including the brain. About 15-30 percent of our total body weight comes from stored fat. The two main types of fat in our bodies are visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.

Visceral fat is buried below the body’s muscle tissue. It surrounds vital organs to cushion and protect them. Women usually have more body visceral fat than men and tend to store more in their breasts, hips, and thighs as a way of protecting organs involved in reproduction. Having excess visceral fat in the lower part of the body appears to be less harmful than having it in the abdominal area, where men tend to accumulate it. Visceral fat in the abdominal area is believed to secrete powerful chemicals that can increase the risk for diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and breathing problems.

Subcutaneous fat is the fat you can see; it lies just beneath the skin. This fat also protects and insulates the body.

Fats also carry some important vitamins (including vitamins A, D, E, and K), carotenoids, and other substances that dissolve in fat to help them be better absorbed and used by the body. Fats are also used to create and maintain cell membranes (the outer layer or cells that protect them) and help maintain healthy skin and nails.

Dietary fats, also known as dietary triglycerides, are found in a variety of foods from both animal and plant sources. They are more than twice as energy-dense as the other macronutrients: carbohydrate and protein. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, although carbohydrate and protein each contain only 4 calories per gram. (Incidentally, alcohol, not a nutrient but still a source of calories, falls somewhere in between and provides 7 calories per gram).

Fats also promote satiety, or the feeling of fullness. Fats in foods add a lot to their taste, texture, smell, and mouth feel. Fats in foods are versatile, can be heated to high temperatures without degrading, and can be used in countless cooking methods to create highly palatable foods.

If you consume too much dietary fat, your body can efficiently store it as body fat. This stored fat can be easily accessed when your calorie needs increase – for example, during periods of growth (such as in pregnancy or childhood), during illness or after an injury, or during a natural disaster or at times when food is scarce. In normal circumstances, too much dietary fat can put you at risk for being overweight or for obesity, and too much of certain types of fats (including saturated and trans fats) can contribute to the development of heart disease and other diet-related diseases and conditions.

If you consume too little dietary fat, your body fat stores can become depleted. If you’re a woman, you might stop menstruating and have reproductive problems. Your skin might deteriorate, you might fell cold (because you have less body fat to warm you), and your organs and tissues might be at more risk for injury. This can be a problem, especially for older people who might have a chronic disease. Children who don’t consume enough fat (it’s rare, but can happen) won’t get enough essential fats that they need to get from the diet. If they don’t consume enough calories, they don’t’ accumulate / have enough body fat (everybody needs some body fat), and they can literally stop growing. A deficiency is rare especially in the United States, but still kids need enough fat to grow optimally.

Carotenoids are a group of yellow, oranges and red pigments found in plant foods (most often in fruits and vegetables). They act as antioxidants to protect body cells against damage caused by free radicals (harmful substances found in the body and environment).

Triglycerides are made of three fatty acids jointed to a glycerol unit (an alcohol that forms the backbone of triglycerides). Triglycerides are found in fats and oils and foods made with tem as well s in meats, dairy products, nuts, and seeds.

USANA Vitamins Nutrition Bars are formulated by USANA Low-Glycemic Formula to be low glycemic, providing greater satiety throughout the day.