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Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'm presenting the dietary supplements on which there are significant data that they can help prevent and deal with dementia. A high percentage of people take dietary supplements hoping to reduce the chance of developing dementia. But in most cases, there are no clinical data supporting this choice. Unfortunately, most dietary supplements that promise you benefits or brain protection can't help you in reality. However, there are few supplements that can help and there are quite a few scientific data that justify their use for this purpose. And their safety profile is worth your trouble and money. So don't believe advertisements that promise better function of the brain or something like that, and choose the ones that really help. Let's start with Omega-3 fatty acids. There are three types of fatty acids. DHA and EPA, which we mainly take from fatty fish such as sardine, anchovy, mackerel, chub mackerel and herring. And ALA, which mainly comes from plant-based sources such as green leafy vegetables and some seeds and nuts such as walnuts and flax. Omega-3 fatty acids that come from fish are more effective and useful for our brain function. Our body can transform ALA into DHA and EPA, but not very effectively. This is we can't rely exclusively on plant-based sources for the intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. We should take Omega-3 from fish too. The original association of the reduction of chances to develop dementia with the increased intake of Omega-3 fatty acids came from the study of diets that are traditionally rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as the Mediterranean diet. The researchers originally found out that the Mediterranean diet protects from dementia. Then, they started examining why the Mediterranean diet protects us and they concluded that it was Omega-3 from fish that the Mediterranean diet is rich in. It sounds reasonable, if you take into account that a big part of our brain consists of Omega-3. It is now considered certain that a diet rich in Omega-3 from fish protects from dementia. But this happens if you eat fatty fish like the ones I mentioned twice a week. Is the same true for dietary supplements too? Unfortunately, studies have been disappointing so far. The results are usually negative, with very few exceptions that show something that may be interpreted positively. The general sense is that fish help, but supplements don't. On the other hand, Omega-3 supplements are affordable, safe in general, and they probably have other benefits too, such as for the heart and vessels. Therefore, what should you do? Here's what I recommend: If you eat fatty fish at least twice a week, supplements won't help any further, so there's no use taking them. But if you eat no fatty fish or you eat them less frequently than twice a week, I recommend Omega-3 supplements. Of course, I should first explain that Omega-3 supplements will probably not substitute fish and the benefit may be small or non-existent. If you don't eat fatty fish twice a week, you endanger the health of your brain. What if you're a vegetarian and don't eat fish? I recommend Omega-3 supplements not from flax, but from algae. As I've said in a previous video, fish have Omega-3 fatty acids because they eat algae that produce Omega-3. If you don't want to eat fish, you can take DHA and EPA from algae that you'll find in the market. The problem is that they're more expensive than Omega-3 supplements from fish. But they may be safer, because they're manufactured in labs under controlled conditions. This is why I recommend them to vegetarians. The next dietary supplement that seems to help prevent and deal with dementia is vitamin E. Vitamin E is a group of antioxidants that seem to protect the brain. The medical world has no doubt that vitamin E in diet can help prevent or deal with dementia. But the data from vitamin-E dietary supplements are poor. Until now, only one decent study has been published that claims that vitamin-E dietary supplements can slow down the progress of dementia. On the other hand, I've never recommended vitamin E to anyone for any reason at all, because there are vast amounts of vitamin E in plant-based foods that we should all eat in vast amounts. Vegetables are very rich in vitamin E, which surely helps the brain too, especially when taken in natural form. Therefore, if someone follows a healthy diet rich in vegetables, they don't need vitamin E supplements. The reason that in the study I mentioned, the supplements helped this group of people is that they ate very little vegetables. In this case, vitamin E supplements can help, and this is not rare at all, because people at the early stages of dementia often have problems with their teeth and avoid vegetables, because they need much chewing. Of course, the solution here is the blender, not the supplements. You can add all the vegetables you want in there, puree and eat them. But if this simple solution is not possible, for other reasons, vitamin-E dietary supplements can help slow down the progress of dementia. Finally, vitamin B supplements, specifically vitamins B6, B9 or folic acid and B12, are often recommended for the brain's health. The reason these vitamins help in the brain's health is because they prevent the production of homocysteine, a substance that is very harmful to the brain. Are these supplements worth it? They may be. The simplest approach is to measure your homocysteine, with a blood examination that all microbiology labs do. If homocysteine is over 10, you should know that this is not good for your brain's health. But before rushing to take supplements, try to find out why homocysteine is increased. The problem is often found in vitamin B12, because it has a complex absorption mechanism that requires good function of the stomach and the small intestine. Therefore, you should do a gastroscopy, in order to examine your stomach's health. If you have symptoms that indicate some dysfunction of the small intestine, such as bloating, you should find which foods obstruct the proper function of the intestine and the proper absorption of vitamins. Doing this and adjusting your diet, in order to improve your digestive system, you may lower homocysteine. If, after doing the above, homocysteine doesn't drop below 10, you should take supplements until homocysteine normalizes. Sometimes, you may need to take some supplements in injections, if the absorption of supplements is not satisfactory. But homocysteine is what always directs as in the sufficiency of vitamins. Finally, let me say that supplements can't substitute a healthy diet and they can't reverse the harm that unhealthy lifestyle causes to our health. Don't use them to make up for your dietary recklessness and the lack of exercise in your daily life. Spend some time on the video on the prevention of dementia with five changes in your lifestyle, because you'll find great benefits for your health and your brain's health with very low cost. If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section. Thank you very much!

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