The cost of dementia in the US is $52 Billion dollars and rising!

What is dementia?  Is it a specific disease or is it the loss of cognitive function:  memory, processing, reasoning? Actually it is both.  There are various diagnostic names that the medical profession uses when the patients are assessed.   The main thing we need to remember is that dementia may be preventable with lifestyle and dietary changes.

  1. Alzheimer’s disease (protein based)
  2. Vascular dementia (could be complication of diabetes type 2)
  3. Stroke
  4. Lewy Body dementia (protein based)
  5. Parkinson’s disease (lack of dopamine in brain)
  6. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  7. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (Lack of vitamin B1)
  8. Huntington’s disease (gene based)
  9. Normal pressure hydrocephalus (a shunt will alleviate pressure)

With the exception of Huntington’s disease which is a gene-based illness, most of the other brain dysfunctions occur with a shrinking of the brain, particularly the frontal and temporal lobes. New research finds that supplementation with magnesium and including/increasing magnesium rich foods in our diets are linked with larger brains.  The current research shows that supplementation of 550 mgs of magnesium (minimum) each day shows a brain that is one year younger than a person who only ingested 350 mgs of magnesium.

  1. 6,000 participants
  2. Aged 40-73
  3. Participants followed for 16 months.
  4. 41% increase in magnesium intake could lead to le3ss age-related brain shrinkage which is associated with better cognitive function and lower risk or delayed onset of dementia in later life.

Magnesium rich foods include:

  1. Nuts and seeds
  2. Beans
  3. Greens (collard, swiss chard, spinach)
  4. Avocados
  5. Bananas
  6. Papaya
  7. Blackberries
  8. Green peas
  9. Sweet corn
  10. Potatoes
  11. Fatty fish
  12. Dark chocolate 70 – 85% cocoa


For further reference, the full study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition on March 10, 2023

Until next time,

Dr. Polly