There has been a strong desire for an effective Alzheimer's drug, given the number of people who suffer from the ailment -- a number that will grow if demographic trends continue.
"There is a tremendous unmet need since existing drugs offer only symptomatic benefits," said Dr. Murali Doraiswamy, chief of the division of biological psychiatry at Duke Medical Center.
However, he cautioned, "At this point I would not recommend that anyone get excited by this or start medicating themselves with these ingredients till we have results from more definitive studies. At best, this study offers some grounds for further testing."
He noted that while the ingredients had been suspected of having brain benefits in the past, "none of the ingredients have been shown to work in prior large scale trials of people with Alzheimer's."
Also, Doraiswamy said, a trial would need to be significantly longer for a product to be seriously considered.
"The typical standard for a definitive FDA trial is six-month duration," Doraiswamy said.
MedPage Today's Michael Smith contributed to this report.