Recommendation

Rationale

Notes

Folate; 400 mcg/day.

Research indicates low folate levels may lead to Alzheimer's.

Usually well tolerated.

Selenium; 55 mcg/day, with a tolerable upper intake level of 400 mcg/day.

Powerful antioxidant for brain-cell protection.

Adverse reactions may include hair and nail brittleness and loss, skin rash, fatigue, and nausea.

Thiamin; 1.1 mg/day for women; 1.2 mg/day for men.

May improve mood and cognitive function.

Oral supplementation tends to be well tolerated.

Vitamin B6; 1.3-1.5 mg/day for women; 1.3-1.7 mg/day for men.

May help treat depression in Alzheimer's patients.

Supplementation in the elderly may also improve immune function.

Vitamin B12; 500 mcg/day.

Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with Alzheimer's.

Elderly people are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin E; 1,000-2,000 IU/day.

May slow dementia in mildly to moderately impaired patients.

The American Psychiatric Association recommends vitamin E supplementation in newly diagnosed cases.

Zinc; 12 mg/day for women; 15 mg/day for men.

May boost cognitive function.

The elderly are at higher risk for zinc deficiency..

Note: Larger doses may be necessary for disease management and prevention. Check with your health care practitioner for individualized recommendations.

Sources: Jaime S. Ruud, RD, research analyst in the department of nutritional science and dietetics at the University of Nebraska and author of Nutrition and the Female Athlete (CRC Press, 1996); PDR for Nutritional Supplements (Medical Economics Co., 2001).