October 20, 2010
Protect Your Memory With Vitamin B12
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Alzheimer's disease is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. This progressive and fatal brain disease destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior.
Currently there is no cure, but a recent study reveals that vitamin B12 may be effective in reducing the risk of memory lost."Low levels of vitamin B12 are surprisingly common in the elderly. However, the few studies that have investigated the usefulness of vitamin B12 supplements to reduce the risk of memory loss have had mixed results," Babak Hooshmand, M.D., MSc, with Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, was quoted as saying.
For the seven-year study, researchers took blood samples from 271 Finnish people age 65 to 79 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. During that time, 17 people developed Alzheimer's disease.
Blood samples were tested for levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with vitamin B12, and for levels of the active portion of the vitamin, called holotranscobalamin. Too much homocysteine in the blood has been linked to negative effects on the brain, such as stroke. However, higher levels of vitamin B12 can lower homocysteine.
Furthermore, the study found that for each micromolar increase in the concentration of homocysteine, the risk of Alzheimer's disease increased by 18 percent, whereas each picomolar increase in concentration of the active form of vitamin B12 reduced risk by two percent. The results stayed the same after taking into account other factors, such as age, gender, education, smoking status, blood pressure and body mass index.
SOURCE: Neurology, October 2010