Can a Nutrient Drink Cure or Prevent Alzheimer's?

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

The news wires are abuzz with the findings of a new study published in Alzheimers' & Dementia. The study showed that some people with Alzheimer's disease who drank a mixture of three key nutrients for 12 weeks were more likely to show an improvement in short term memory than patients who drank a placebo substitute.

The buzz is driven by two forces.

One is the euphoric prospect that three nutrients (uridine, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids), all of which are found in human breast milk, might in some way help to treat Alzheimer's disease. This is certainly worthy of some fan fare. The other is the swift and negative reaction of academic experts whenever a for-profit venture makes health related claims about interventions that have not yet been fully validated by the scientific process.

In this case, it is too early to know if a meaningful discovery is at hand. The initial science looks promising and has good face validity but the effect of the drink was quite minimal and the scope of the study was small. I don't think it is fair for the scientific community to undermine this approach merely because there is a profit motive behind the science but that is a valid reason for tempering public expectations and for requiring solid, third-party validation of the initial approach.


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