Vitamin B may prevent memory loss

21 May 2013

High doses of vitamin B could prevent memory loss, according to a new study by experts at Oxford University. Researchers have found that the three main types of vitamin B help to slow shrinkage in parts of the brain by up to 90 per cent.

Vitamin variants B-6, B-9 (commonly known as folic acid), and B12 are the most effective in treating memory loss.

The study showed that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have an elevated amount of homocysteine in their bloodstream, which causes rapid shrinkage in the brain. Conversely, vitamin B helps negate the damaging effects of the chemical, effectively shielding the brain from atrophy and memory loss.

Lead researcher, Dr David Smith, said: “Our work shows that a key part of the disease process that leads to Alzheimer’s disease, the atrophy of specific brain regions, might be modified by a safe and simple intervention.” However, before more clinical studies can be conducted, experts are advising patients with memory problems to continue eating a balanced diet and exercising, instead of relying on supplements to treat their condition.

Director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr Eric Karran, said: “Until further trials have confirmed these findings, we would recommend people think about eating a healthy and balanced diet. Controlling weight and blood pressure, as well as taking exercise, are also ways that we can help to keep our brains healthy as we get older.”

If you are concerned about your chances of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia, arrange to have a one-off mineral test done to determine your vitamin B levels. Additionally, a blood pressure test may help assess your risk.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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