There is no good evidence that a nutritious beverage sold online in the UK to help people with early Alzheimer’s disease actually slows down the disease, experts say.
The last examination results in patients who took Souvenaid not found that keeps memory and thinking. The authors say that in Lancet neurology more studies are needed to show if the product can work as it was hoped.
And consumers should be aware that 3.49 pounds for a bottle of wine is “not a panacea.” The manufacturer Nutrition says that his drinking should be taken only under the direction of a doctor, specialist, nurse or pharmacist.
What is a drink?
Souvenaid comes in the taste of : strawberry or vanilla and contains a combination of vitamins, fatty acids and other nutrients.
Taken once a day, the idea is that the increase in the nutrients it provides will help keep Alzheimer’s disease in people with the earliest signs of this type of dementia. But the latest results of a Phase Two clinical trial do not prove that.
What the trial found
The study included 311 patients with very early Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment. All of them were asked to take a daily drink, but only half were given to Souvenaid – the other half received one without added nutrients.
After two years of participation, the patients were re-examined to see if there was a difference between the two groups relative to the progression of dementia, measured by different memory and cognitive tests.
Treatment did not offer an advantage, although patients in the Souvenaid group had a slightly lower scar on the brain, which researchers said were promising, as the reduction in brain regions that control memory is seen as a worsening of dementia.
But experts remain cautious.
Professor Tara Spiers-Jones, a dementia expert at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Some of the other tests on brain structure and function were promising, but an overall study suggests that a particular dietary change is unlikely to make a big difference in people with Alzheimer’s disease, even in the early stages.
“There is strong evidence that a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and a healthy diet, can help reduce the risk of developing dementia, but once brain damage begins, it is unlikely that the dietary intervention will stop the disease.”
Another expert, Dr Elizabeth Coulthard of the University of Bristol, said people should carefully consider before buying something that has not yet been proven.
Dr David Reynolds of the Alzheimer’s UK study recommended: “If people are concerned about their memory or are considering buying and taking Souvenaid as an add-on to managing their diet, then it’s important that they discuss this with their doctor.”
A spokeswoman for Nutricia said: “We are pleased that this contributes to evidence of Souvenaid and we remain committed to ongoing and further clinical research.”