The nutritional drink Souvenaid slows symptoms of cognitive decline related to early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, a three year study has found.
The results are published in the peer-reviewed journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Souvenaid contains a patented combination of nutrients and is manufactured by Nutricia, an arm of the multinational food company Danone specialising in therapeutic food and clinical nutrition.
Danone funded the consortium running the trial for the final year of the study.
Souvenaid contains an active ingredient called Fortasyn Connect which is a combination of nutrients designed for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
It includes fish oil, uridine monophosphate and choline as well, as phospholipids, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and folic acid.
The trial involved 311 patients who were given either Souvenaid or a placebo.
The group taking Souvenaid had “significant reduction in decline”, the study found.
“This multinutrient intervention slowed decline on clinical and other measures related to cognition, function, brain atrophy, and disease progression. These results indicate that intervention benefits increased with long-term use,” the researchers reported.
Associate Professor Michael Woodward from the University of Melbourne, who wasn’t directly involved with the research but has provided paid advice to Nutricia in the past, said the findings were underpinned by good science.
“The important finding is that after three years of Souvenaid people had less reduction in memory than if they were on the placebo, and they also have a less loss of volume of an important part of the brain which underpins memory, the hippocampus,” he told Community Care Review.
“We recommend as clinicians that people take Souvenaid for about three years and this is the first study ever completed in mild cognitive impairment to shows that clinical recommendation is actually underpinned by good science.”
Not a cure for dementia
Professor Woodward stresses the product isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s disease but is an effective management approach.
Dementia Australia also says Souvenaid won’t cure Alzheimer’s or stop the disease progressing over time.
It says there’s not enough medical evidence to recommend its routine use but says the product could be considered as “one option” for people with mild cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer’s.
Medical advice should be sought before taking it.
More information on Souvenaid from Dementia Australia can be found here.
Access the results of the study here.
This story first ran in Community Care Review.