Middle and old aged people in America are becoming prey to the so-called “brain boosting supplements” because of the increasing rate of Alzheimer’s disease.
With the increasing age, people tend to worry more about developing cognitive changes and dementia. Because of this, the manufacturers and dealers of brain-boosting supplements have made a business out of it.
But as neurologists say, these supplements are pseudomedicine i.e these supplements only exist within the law and are often promoted as scientifically supported treatments, but lack credible efficacy data.
That is why excess consumption of these supplements does not benefit health in any way. Rather, may show some negative effects. Thus, neurologists discourage their consumption.
In an article published in JAMA on January 25, 2019, the neurologists plead doctors to provide an ‘honest scientific interpretation’ along with related risks and costs of these supplements.
“The landscape of limited treatments for dementia and wide access to information has culminated in a troubling increase in pseudomedicine,” said Bruce Miller, senior author of the opinion piece and director of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and the Global Brain Health Institute.
He also said, “While unethical forces promote pseudomedicine, an educated community of doctors and patients can combat these practices.”
Joanna Hellmuth, a neurologist at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and a member of the UCSF Weil Institute for Neurosciences said, “Dietary supplements marketed for brain health are a pseudomedicine practice that patients often ask about.
Hellmuth also commented, “We have also seen a rise in personalized protocols to reverse cognitive decline and dementia. Unfortunately, these interventions currently lack data proving they are effective.”
Despite the fact that there are no proven drugs available yet that can actually cure Alzheimer disease, the global market for brain health dietary supplement is blooming. In this era of globalization, the brain health dietary supplements market had managed to generate $3.2 billion (approx. 22690 crores ) in 2016. According to Research and Markets, it is expected to reach $11.6 billion (approx. 83100 crores) by 2024.
According to the reports given by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5 million (50 lakhs) Americans were estimated to have Alzheimer’s disease in 2014. These numbers are most likely to hike to 14 million (1.4 crores) by 2060. So far Scientists are unable to find a cure to prevent or reverse this disease.
Many medical companies support and promote the consumption of Pseudomedicine, in order to ‘help’ the patients. But these supplements may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, and intake of high doses increase the risk of death as they are not FDA approved.
With the high risk of more people developing this disease in near future, the need to understand the fact that these supplements have never shown any sign of reversing or preventing Alzheimer’s becomes urgent. Some quality of medical research and people awareness is needed to protect many vulnerable patients from such falsified advertisement.