Herbal supplement SaiLuoTong might delay the onset of dementia in some patients

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Pharmacy and supermarket shelves are overflowing with herbal supplements, potions, and pills that make lofty health and wellness promises.

Some supplements have proven benefits, others are little more than snake oil — or fish oil if you prefer.

One little-known herbal supplement, marketed as SaiLuoTong (SLT), has been getting attention from medical researchers for its reputed ability to reduce the symptoms of cognitive impairment.

new study from the Alzheimer’s Association finds that SLT may be helpful in improving memory as well as executive function in people with mild cognitive impairment.

“People with mild cognitive impairment have an increased risk of dementia — over fivefold in some cases — and at the moment we do not have any approved medications for mild cognitive impairment,” lead study author Dr. Genevieve Steiner-Lim said in a news release.

“Early intervention is critical in order to delay or prevent a 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 that contains extracts including ginseng, ginkgo, and crocus sativus (saffron) — all of which have been extensively studied for their health benefits.

The combination reportedly has anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant effects.

To test the potential benefits of SaiLuoTong, the researchers enlisted 78 people who were 60 years or older with mild cognitive impairment.

The participants were either given 180mg of SLT every day or a placebo.

The research revealed that after 12 weeks, those who were given SLT had a statistically significant improvement in their logical memory delayed recall scores compared with those who were given the placebo.

SLT was also found to improve performance in executive functions.

The supplement was well-tolerated, with a low rate of mild or moderate adverse events among the study participants.

What is mild cognitive impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between the normal decline in memory and thinking that happens with age and the more serious decline of dementia, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Mild cognitive impairment typically includes problems with memory, language, or judgment.

The disorder can increase the risk of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Some people with mild cognitive impairment, however, never get worse — and some may eventually get better.

Symptoms can include forgetting things more often, difficulty following the plot of a movie or book, missing appointments or events, trouble making decisions, getting lost in once-familiar places, or difficulty following conversations.

Roughly 10% to 15% of people with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop dementia each year.

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Source: NYPost

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