According to a new international study, a dose of probiotics on a daily basis may boost memory and thinking abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Probiotics are yeasts, or live bacteria, with several known benefits for human body that include menopause-like bone loss and improvement of mental health.
A team of scientists from Iran found that people with the condition who drank milk enriched with live bacteria showed significant improvement in cognitive function.
Mahmoud Salami, a professor from Kashan University and lead author of the study, says: “The study is the first to show that probiotics provide benefits in cognitive improvement.”
Alzheimer’s disease patients are commonly subjected to eating problems. These problems may cause malnutrition and worsen the condition of patient.
When Alzheimer’s disease develop, the patients can usually forget or refuse to eat, have some eating difficulties. The proper eating is very important in this case and if you take care of such patient, you should be responsible for healthy nutrition as well.
It is good to cook food that the patient can eat using hands, as the use of table items can be hard for the person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Over time, the disease progresses and the person may lose the ability to swallow and chew own food. In this case, you need to feed the patient.
Not proper nutrition can lead to deterioration of overall health, including mental health, weight loss, reduced communication abilities, dehydration, infections, and stomach problems. In order to help the Alzheimer’s patients to follow healthy diet, it’s important to realize what can cause the eating problems in such case.
Common reasons why Alzheimer’s patients lose appetite and interest in eating
The causes of losing interest to eat are usually poor appetite, physical disability, and sensory impairments.
A poor appetite can appear because of numerous reasons like depression, communication problems (they can’t express when they are hungry), pain, tiredness, medication side effects, physical inactivity, and constipation. Other common reasons include:
Not recognizing the food by patients (due to damage to the brain brought on by Alzheimer’s or due to vision problems.)
Losing ability to concentrate
Difficulties in using utensils or raising a glass
Challenging to bring the food from the plate to their mouth
Dysphagia (difficulty to swallow)
losing the ability to gauge food temperature
reduced feeling of thirst
Tips to boost appetite and interest in food in Alzheimers patients
Make food to smell and look good
Find additional time for eating ( for example, if person is awake at night, you may offer some snacks in this time)
Give the patient food she/he likes
Serve food in small pieces, so it’s easy to chew
Try different types of foods and drinks, like a milkshake or smoothie
Take care of food temperature
Don’t stop a patient from eating dessert even if they haven’t finished their savory meal
If a person suffer from swallowing, offer a soft food or liquid meals
Involve the patient in food preparation
If the patient refuses eating, try to propose later again
Don’t remove food from the person just because they stopped eating – they may be temporarily distracted and will resume once again.
List of beneficial products in Alzheimer’s disease
The patient should get a lot of antioxidants in food. Thus, they kill the free radicals that are delivered with poor quality or harmful food, thereby preventing premature aging and tissue damage. To do this, use products containing B1, B6 and B12 , C, E vitamins, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, coenzyme Q10 and niacin (B3). These nutrients are found in: