Mitigating Cognitive Decline in Seniors

Mitigating Cognitive Decline in Seniors

These days, people are living longer than ever. However, there has also been an increase in age-related cognitive impairment in seniors, especially those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia. While these conditions cannot be completely prevented or cured, there are ways to help manage cognitive decline with dietary supplements. Some of these nutrients are already naturally found in foods. Let’s define the difference between these disorders and explore some of the ways seniors can stay sharp: 

Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia: Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, making up 60-80% of all cases, and it is a degenerative brain disease. Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather an overarching term to describe a set of symptoms related to cognitive abilities, according to a med school article from UCLA. An individual is diagnosed with dementia when there’s been a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Nootropics: These dietary supplements, also naturally found in some foods, are a group of natural substances that aim to improve cognition, motivation and memory. In this article, we name a few specific compounds to look for in nootropic supplements. There are many more not listed in this article, but they’re usually included in most nootropic blends. ​

L-theanine: In a study cited by the National Library of Medicine and many others, this nootropic helps improve short-term working memory and executive function. These middle-aged and older subjects experienced improved memory, shorter reaction times and more correct answers during an exam after just a single dose. L-theanine is found in naturally green teas and is included in most nootropic blends. While L-theanine cannot reverse the effects of aging on the brain, it can help seniors stay focused and maintain current working memory processes.

Ashwagandha: This powerful herb and nootropic, native to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, helps protect the central nervous system and maintains brain health, and is even being investigated as an alternative to pathology treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. The stress-reducing properties of ashwagandha address increased oxidative stress in the brain, often linked to the normal aging process and cognitive decline in seniors. Ashwagandha inhibits the enzyme that breaks down the key neurotransmitter in the brain, leading to a boost in memory, learning and cognition. It can also help reconstruct synapses, restoring neural networks that are affected by neurodegenerative disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Also commonly referred to as fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids are a nootropic found both in nature (mainly in cold-water fish, like salmon and tuna) and sold as a supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids are converted into powerful anti-inflammatory molecules by cells in the brain that aid in healing oxidation, one of the contributors to cognitive decline. This beneficial nootropic also gives brain cells the ability to easily pass neurotransmitters and other enzymes in the brain due to increased fluidity and elasticity in membranes.

Diet: Many studies suggest that a diet with an increased intake of certain foods such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, and fish are associated with better cognitive function later in life. A reduction in meat and high-fat dairy products is also recommended. Diets rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids also help mitigate cognitive decline as seniors age. Evaluations are currently underway to discover the effectiveness of food-based nootropic agents.

Medical Disclaimer: While vitamin supplements can offer potential relief from the physical challenges of aging, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Additionally, individual responses to supplements may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another. Supplements should complement, not replace, other treatments recommended by your healthcare provider.


With concerns about cognitive decline in seniors on the rise, learning how to take care of the brain is more important than ever. While there is no cure for this, incorporating daily nootropic supplements can help mitigate the effects of aging on the brain. Speaking with a medical professional about the benefits of these supplements is the first step in maintaining your brain health and staying sharp.

**Remember to prioritize quality, safety, and consultation with a healthcare professional to ensure the best outcomes for your joint health journey.

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