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Lack of Clinical Trials and No Evidence that Supplements Help Prevent Dementia: Enormous Sums of Consumer Money Wasted

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Dementia

Sales of purported brain-health supplements such as fish oil and jellyfish are expected to hit $5.8 billion by 2023 but based on a recent study authored by the Global Council on Brain Health, they are a big waste of money for healthy seniors seeking to avoid or reverse dementia.

The AARP reports in “The Real Deal on Brain Health Supplements: GCBH Recommendations on Vitamins, Minerals and Other Dietary Supplements.”  GCBH Recommendations on Vitamins, Minerals and Other Dietary Supplements reports “that the market is so large they get by without rigorous documentation of the efficacy of their products” states Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minnesota.  He and other members of the Global Council on Brain Health do not recommend any dietary supplements to prevent, slow or reverse cognitive decline.

A Prominent Investigator Speaks

John Olichney a neurologist who co-leads the UC Davis Health’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center reports “Supplements…are being taken largely without the endorsement of prescription of a doctor” and “There’s a lot of unnecessary spending, and there’s also unnecessary confidence that if you take supplements, you can prevent dementia, and there aren’t high-quality randomized clinical trials showing that prevention effect empirically.

Global Council on Brain Health

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) is an independent collaborative of scientists, health professionals, scholars and policy experts from around the world who are working in areas of brain health related to human cognition. The GCBH focuses on brain health relating to people’s ability to think and reason as they age, including aspects of memory, perception and judgment. The GCBH is convened by AARP with support from Age UK to offer the best possible advice about what older adults can do to maintain and improve their brain health. GCBH members gather to discuss specific lifestyle habits that may impact people’s brain health as they age, with the goal of providing evidence-based recommendations for people to consider incorporating into their lives. Many people across the globe are interested in learning that it is possible to influence their own brain health and in finding out what can be done to maintain their brain health as they age. We aim to be a trustworthy source of information, basing recommendations on current evidence supplemented by a consensus of experts from a broad array of disciplines and perspectives.

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