Supplement Q and A
Evidence-based answers to questions about dietary supplements

By : Philip Gregory | January 01, 1970

Souvenaid - Medical Food

There's been a lot of buzz about a new medical food called "Souvenaid."  Currently, it is available in some countries (such as Australia), but it is not yet available in the U.S.


Souvenaid contains an interesting mix of ingredients (known as "Fortasyn Connect")  which includes: 



  • Uridine monophosphate: 625 mg
  • Choline: 400 mg
  • Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA): 300 mg
  • Docosahexanoic acid (DHA): 1200 mg 
  • Phospholipids: 106 mg
  • Vitamin E: 40 mg
  • Vitamin C: 80 mg
  • Selenium: 60 mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 3 mcg
  • Vitamin B6: 1 mg
  • Folic acid: 400 mcg

There has been a lot of interest over the years in the Souvenaid ingredient choline because it is a precursor to the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is significantly involved in memory.  In fact, most Alzheimer's drugs work by increasing acetylcholine in some way.  However, despite being a precursor to acetylcholine, taking choline has not been shown to necessarily increase acetylcholine levels in the brain (Tan, Mag Reson Med 1998).

Animal research shows that giving uridine, choline, and DHA (3 of the 11 ingredients in Souvenaid) can increase brain phosphilipids and improve memory tests in animals (Holgiun, FASEB J 2008).  Alzheimer's disease involves loss of neuronal synapses in the brain.  The ingredients in Souvenaid are theorized to provide the "phosphatide precursors" to allow restoration of the lost synapses. 

But is there any evidence for Souvenaid itself - and in humans?  Yes, actually three clinical trials have been conducted to date.  The details are described in the table below:
Author (date)Population Dose/Duration  Outcome Comment
 Scheltens (2010) 225 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease Souvenaid or placebo control once daily x 12 weeks 40% had improved verbal recall after taking Souvenaid compared to 24% taking placebo (P=0.021).  No significant effect on test of cognitive function (ADAS-Cog) No significant side effects were reported.  The most common side effects were stomach upset.  Company sponsored study.
Kamphius (2011) 225 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease  Souvenaid or placebo control once daily x 12 weeks with an additional 12 week extension Significant improvement in test of cognitive function (ADAS-Cog) only in patients with higher baseline scores of 25 or more. This is a follow-up analysis from the Scheltens study described above. Company sponsored study.
Scheltons (2012)259 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease Souvenaid or placebo control once daily x 24 weeks Memory scores using the Neuropsychological Test Battery (NTB) significantly improved after taking Souvenaid compared to placebo control. No significant side effects were reported. 

These data show that in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, who are not taking other medications, Souvenaid might improve some measures of memory.  In people with higher (worse) cognitive function scores (ADAS-Cog), Souvenaid might also improve cognitive function. 


Note that I use the word "might" improve memory and cognitive function. The reason is that these data are still considered preliminary.  In the world of evidence-based medicine, this simply isn't very strong evidence because the studies are relative small and short-term. 


Nonetheless, the findings are promising and the product appears to be well-tolerated and likely safe based on the ingredients it contains.  For someone facing Alzheimer's, this is worth a discussion with their personal neurologist. 

Category: Alzheimer's Disease 

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Comments:

tony low

Posted on : August 29, 2014

I am a 74 year old male. I have been taking souvenaid once a day for seven weeks. I am taking your product as a possible preventative. I do not show any real signs of memory problems except I have very occasionally misplaced my black colored mobile phone. My question is, has there been any correlation between product consumption and weight gain whilst on a program like mine, as in seven weeks i have gained almost five kilos. My eating and drinking regime has not changed, which makes me consider stopping taking your product. I would appreciate your advice.


tony low

Posted on : August 29, 2014

I am a 74 year old male. I have been taking your Souvenaid product, for seven weeks,once a day. I have been taking the product as a preventative and I can say that i do not show any obvious signs of memory and cognitive functions apart from the mandatory misplacement of my mobile phone from time to time. i wish to ask if there has been any correlation of weight gain whilst using the product, as for some reason I have put on near five Kilos in five weeks, without any change in my eating or drinking regime. This has me questioning whether to cease taking the product? i would appreciate your response.


Sandy

Posted on : July 22, 2013

Good information for us oldsters, who worry about Alzheimer's every time we lose track of our car keys or our sun glasses!!


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