Nutritional Problems

When we think of nutritional deficiencies, malnutrition and starvation come to mind. But in the modern world of excess food production and consumption, the opposite type of nutritional abnormality predisposes people to memory loss. A diet rich in saturated fats promotes the formation of toxic free radicals in the brain. Equally important, cholesterol and saturated fats contribute to the formation of plaques that line the walls of arteries and smaller blood vessels, increasing the risk of stroke and cognitive deficits.

Niacin and Folic Acid Deficiency

In some cases, memory loss can be traced to vitamin deficiencies. The adverse effects of alcohol are partly caused by liver damage leading to deficiency of the vitamin B1, or thiamine, which is essential for the brain. Folic acid, or vitamin B7, deficiency is associated with anemia. Folic acid is known to help protect against colon cancer, birth defects in pregnancy, and possibly heart disease. Folic acid deficiency occurs in older people with poor diets, and can lead to memory loss.

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