There's some good news from a study involving antioxidants used with a cholinesterase inhibiting drug, donepezil (sold as Aricept), and the effect of the combination on Alzheimer's disease.
An article titled, "Cholinesterase Inhibition Combined With Antioxidants May Help Alzheimer's Disease Outcomes: Presented at ADPD," explains that researchers have found that combining a "defined" formulation of antioxidants they call "Formula F" with donepezil, when treating mild Alzheimer's disease, "substantially reduces oxidative stress and provides significant benefits over treatment with donepezil alone."
The results of the study were presented at the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases. The study addressed oxidative stress in the brain, often referred to as free radical damage.
There have been many articles published on studies of supplementing the diet with antioxidants and the effect of these supplements on Alzheimer's. I wrote about one in an article here on Our Alzheimer's titled, "Can Antioxidants Reverse or Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?"
This current paper involving cholinesterase states that, "Dietary and supplemental antioxidants have been implicated in reduced risk of AD, and the defined antioxidant formulation Formula F has been shown to be active in reducing oxidative stress in the short-term."
Is this conclusive evidence that taking antioxidants will help Alzheimer's? I'm sure we'll soon see another study saying antioxidants will not help. I read a lot of these studies as I, personally, am interested in a nutritional approach to almost any ailment (which is not to say I am against prescription drugs). However, I do feel that we all have the right to make choices about our own health.
Certainly, eating foods high in antioxidants, such as blueberries and other bright colored fruits and vegetables, isn't likely to hurt us. Some doctors argue against taking supplements. This is something we have to decide with our doctors and our own educated reasoning. A doctor's view of supplementation - pro, con or noncommittal - may affect your personal choice of the doctor you choose.
I'm very glad to see more evidence pointing to the fact that we do have choices we can make that could, for some people, change the course of AD, and perhaps other diseases. Until I see conclusive evidence otherwise, I will be pro-supplement for myself. I have one doctor that is all for it and the other one thinks I'm nuts. Either could be right, but I choose to go with the one that is pro. Time will tell if we - my one doctor and I - are right.
Meanwhile, bring on the studies. I follow them with interest. Hopefully, enough supporting evidence will pile up to support a real conclusion one way or the other.
Published On: March 26, 2009