A dietary supplement containing a blend of 30 vitamins and minerals has the potential to slow the progress of catastrophic neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, researchers say.
The supplement has shown remarkable anti-ageing properties that can prevent and even reverse massive brain cell loss, according to the study by Ontario's McMaster University researchers.
"The findings are dramatic," said lead author of the study, Jennifer Lemon.
"Our hope is that this supplement could offset some very serious illnesses and ultimately improve the quality of life," Lemon noted.
The formula contains common ingredients such as vitamins B, C and D, folic acid, green tea extract, cod liver oil and other nutraceuticals.
The mice used in this study had widespread loss of more than half of their brain cells, severely impacting multiple regions of the brain by one year of age, the human equivalent of severe Alzheimer's disease.
The mice were fed the supplement on small pieces of bagel each day over the course of several months. Over time, researchers found that it completely eliminated the severe brain cell loss and abolished cognitive decline.
"The research suggests that there is tremendous potential with this supplement to help people who are suffering from some catastrophic neurological diseases," Lemon noted.
The findings were published online in the journal Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.
"We know this because mice experience the same basic cell mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration that humans do. All species, in fact. There is a commonality among us all," she explained.
In addition to looking at the major markers of ageing, they also discovered that the mice on the supplements experienced enhancement in vision and most remarkably in the sense of smell (the loss of which is often associated with neurological disease) improved balance and motor activity.
The next step in the research is to test the supplement on humans, likely within the next two years, and target those who are dealing with neurodegenerative diseases, the researchers concluded.
Inputs from IANS