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A popular vitamin supplement that increases Dementia risk – experts warn

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Dementia is sometimes viewed as a death sentence due to the lack of a cure and the unavoidable progression of symptoms. Nonetheless, evidence indicates that the risk of developing cognitive decline is manageable. Surprising risk factors for the cognitive decline have been identified.

Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – is a term term that refers to memory loss and other cognitive disorders.

“Evidence suggests that excess iron may contribute to Alzheimer’s risk,” warns the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

According to the health body, you should “avoid” vitamins with iron because it can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

You should take iron supplements only when directed by your doctors, says the PCRM.

A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease first drew attention to the role that iron may play in developing Alzheimer’s.

Most scientists assume that one of two proteins, tau or beta-amyloid, is to blame for the disease.

According to the UCLA research, there may be a third cause: iron buildup.

Scientists led by UCLA psychiatry professor and study senior author Dr. George Bartzokis evaluated their hypothesis that higher tissue iron was to blame for the tissue breakdown linked with Alzheimer’s disease. They found it to be true.

When it comes to memory formation, hippocampal formation is a critical part of the brain. Researchers studied this area and found that it was more prone to Alzheimer’s disease than the thalamus, which is mostly unaffected until very late stages.

In 31 Alzheimer’s patients and 68 healthy controls, the researcher employed an MRI technique to assess the level of brain iron stored in the protein ferritin.

Doctor Bartzokis says that when someone has a disease like Alzheimer’s, the amount of water in their brain increases, making it difficult to detect iron.

“It is difficult to measure iron in tissue when the tissue is already damaged,” he said.

“But the MRI technology we used in this study allowed us to determine that the increase in iron is occurring together with the tissue damage. We found that the amount of iron is increased in the hippocampus and is associated with tissue damage in patients with Alzheimer’s but not in the healthy older individuals — or in the thalamus. So the results suggest that iron accumulation may indeed contribute to the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Doctor Bartzokis, on the other hand, found some hopeful results in the study.

“The accumulation of iron in the brain may be influenced by modifying environmental factors, such as how much red meat and iron dietary supplements we consume and, in women, having hysterectomies before menopause,” he said.

A varied and balanced diet, according to experts, should provide enough iron for the majority of the population.

If you’re taking iron supplements, be careful not to take too much.

“Taking 17mg or less a day of iron supplements is unlikely to cause any harm. But continue taking a higher dose if advised to by a GP,” according to the health body.

Image Credit: Getty

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