Pharmacy and supermarket shelves are filled with dietary supplements, pills and herbal medicines that promise good health and wellness.
Some supplements have been shown to be beneficial, others are little more than snake oil or fish oil, if you prefer.
A little-known herbal supplement, marketed as SaiLuoTong (SLT), has received attention from medical researchers for its ability to reduce symptoms of cognitive decline.
A new study from the Alzheimer’s Association shows that SLT may be helpful in improving memory as well as executive function in people with mild cognitive impairment.
“People with mild cognitive impairment are up to five times more likely to develop dementia in some cases,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Genevieve Steiner-Lim, said in a press release. and currently we don’t have any drugs approved for mild cognitive impairment.”
“Early intervention is critical to delay or prevent dementia diagnosis,” said Steiner-Lim, who is also an associate professor at Western Sydney University in Australia.
What is SaiLuoTong?
SaiLuoTong is an herbal supplement containing extracts including ginseng, ginkgo and saffron, all of which have been extensively researched for their health benefits.
This combination is said to have anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant effects.
To test the potential benefits of SaiLuoTong, researchers recruited 78 people aged 60 and older with mild cognitive impairment. Participants received 180 mg of SLT per day or a placebo.
The study found that after 12 weeks, people given SLT had a statistically significant improvement in delayed logical memory recall scores compared to those given a placebo.
SLT has also been found to improve performance in executive function. And the supplement was well tolerated, with a low rate of mild or moderate side effects in study participants.
What is mild cognitive impairment?
According to the Mayo Clinic, mild cognitive impairment is the stage between the normal decline in memory and thinking that occurs with age and the more severe decline of dementia.
Mild cognitive impairment often includes problems with memory, language, or judgment. This disorder may increase the risk of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
However, some people with mild cognitive impairment never get worse, and some may eventually get better.
Symptoms may include forgetting things more often, difficulty following the plot of a movie or book, missing appointments or events, difficulty making decisions, getting lost in once familiar places, or difficulty following follow conversations.
About 10% to 15% of people with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia each year.
Although the study population was small, Steiner-Lim believes the results show some promise in SLT supplementation.
“Our findings are promising because they show that even after a relatively short treatment period of just 12 weeks, SLT can support important aspects of memory and thinking in children,” she told MedicalNewsToday. people with mild cognitive impairment”.
The next step, the doctor added, is to conduct another trial with a larger sample size and longer treatment period to test whether SLT can be used to treat mild cognitive impairment and potentially treat it. ability to delay the diagnosis of dementia.
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