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Nutritional Considerations for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease


FEATURE TOPIC: Eating and Nutrition

Involuntary weight loss, nutrients needed for energy metabolism or cognitive processes, are nutritional considerations important in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Some involuntary weight loss happens in normal aging, but genetics may exacerbate weight loss in AD. Decreases in serum levels of vitamins B12 and C appear to be related to aging and not specifically to AD. High doses of vitamin E and folate given in early stages of the disease may delay the time to reach severe dementia. Persons with AD need to consume diets high in cereals fortified with folate and vitamin B12, fruits and vegetables for vitamin C, and oils for energy and vitamin E, but high doses of vitamins should be administered only under medical supervision.

Audrey A. Spindler, PhD, RD, is a Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University (SDSU). She directs the Didactic Program in Dietetics at SDSU.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.