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).