A recent study suggests that high doses of vitamin B can halve the brain shrinkage in older people who experience some signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
The research, published in the journal PLoS One and conducted by scientists from the Oxford Project for Memory Research and Aging (OPTIMA), is based on the examination of 168 elderly people who experienced a certain level of mental deterioration known as mild cognitive impairment. This condition, marked by memory lapses and language problems, goes beyond normal aging and can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
In the experiments, half of the volunteers received a daily tablet containing levels well above the recommended daily amount of the B family of vitamins, such as folic acid, B6 and B12. The other half received a placebo.
After two years, the Magnetic Resonance analysis showed that the speed at which their brains were shrinking had been reduced. While the brain shrinks on average at a rate of 0.5% per year after the age of 60, the brains of people with mild cognitive impairment shrink twice as fast, and in Alzheimer’s patients the contraction increases up to 2.5% per year. The team of scientists detected that in those who received vitamin supplements, the contraction of the brain decreased between 30% and 50% compared to their peers.
But why? Some vitamins of the B family, such as folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12, control the levels of a blood substance known as homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are associated with a faster contraction of the brain and with Alzheimer’s disease. The authors of the study believe that the effect of B vitamins on homocysteine levels was the effect that helped slow the rate of brain contraction. “These vitamins are doing something to the structure of the brain, they’re protecting it, and that’s very important.
Thanks for reading
see you soon