The Truth About Alzheimer's and Blueberries

Ella Traver for ElderThink


A couple of years back, researchers from Tufts, Louisiana State, and the National Institute on Aging conducted a study to learn about the effects of blueberries on Alzheimer's Disease. Yes, the study involved rats instead of humans, but in this case, the researchers were looking at the specific inflammation in the brain caused by AD. That inflammation produces a Kainic Acid whether you are a rat or a person. These researchers concluded that the chemicals in blueberries (polyphenols) acted as an antioxidant and protected the brain from Kainic Acid.


So we all started to eat lots of blueberries. Then I stumbled upon an interview with an old friend, Dr. Robert Krikorian from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Krikorian says it is the polyphenols that are important and we should look at other foods too. Mostly fruits and vegetables, he says, but red grape juice is definitely loaded with polyphenols. Dr. Krikorian says wild blueberries are loaded with polyphenols and, based on his most current findings, produce a better response to memory tests.


So now it's blueberries, but wild ones, AND red grape juice. Wonder what will be next. Plums maybe? How about red wine?


Pittman & Davis

folic acidvitamin B12


Folic Acid and Vitamin B12

Do They Help Fight Alzheimer's Disease?

Gretchen Heuring for ElderThink


This 3-year study, called the FACIT Trial, was conducted in the Netherlands by a team of researchers. They gave 818 participants either a daily oral dose of folic acid or a daily oral placebo. Tests were given to the participants including memory, speed of motion, speed of recognition, information processing speed, and word fluency. After three years, changes were signifantly better for participants who took the folic acid.


So What Does This Mean?

Usually, people with a folic acid (also called folate) deficiency are also deficient in vitamin B12. Some symptoms are similar so it's important to be tested for both.


Folic Acid Deficiency Symptoms

These symptoms might be hard to notice at first. They might include fatigue, prematurely grey hair, mouth sores, a tender tongue, pale skin, irritabilty and diarrhea.


B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Usually, when there is a folic acid deficiency, there is also a B12 deficiency. B12 symptoms include all those noticed for folic acid, such as numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, memory loss, paranoia or hallucinations, and general weakness.


A Cure for Alzheimer's Disease?

There is wide-ranging controversey about folic acid and B12 supplements to aid those with Alzhimer's Disease. Research is continuing, but meantime, supplements are readily available and might help.