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Vitamin B Supplement may help to delay Dementia

Posted on Thursday, 29 September, 2011 by anthony

Effect of Vitamin B Supplement on Mild Cognitive Impairment

Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Oslo, Norway, looking at the effect of a high dose Vitamin B supplement on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) found that subjects receiving the high dose vitamin B supplements showed improvements in cognitive function compared with those taking a placebo (dummy) drug. This has important implications since 10% of all individuals with MCI develop dementia per year - approximately 50% will develop dementia within 5 years of initial MCI diagnosis – and any improvement in cognitive function could help to slow the rate of development of dementia. The research supports previous research where subjects receiving a high dose vitamin B supplemented experienced 30% less brain atrophy (shrinkage) when compared with those who only received a placebo drug.

How might B Vitamins help to reduce the rate of dementia?

It is believed that individuals who have low levels of B vitamins (either from poor diet or poor absorption of B vitamins) are at increased risk of cognitive impairment possibly due to elevated homocysteine levels in their blood – homocysteine has previously been found in higher levels in patients with Alzheimer’s. It is believed that a high dose Vitamin B supplement can help to lower homocystein levels, improve cognitive function and possibly delay the progression from MCI to dementia.

What dose of B Vitamins was used in the research?

The high dose Vitamin B supplement consisted of 20mg of Vitamin B6 (1000% RDA), 0.5mg of Vitamin B12 (50,000%), 0.8mg of Folic Acid (400%).

What did the researchers find?

• The high dose Vitamin B supplement had homocysteine levels that were 30% lower (on average) compared with those receiving just a placebo drug.
• Those who received the Vitamin B supplement tended to do better in a test that looked at their ability to plan and execute a task correctly.
• The B vitamin supplement tended to be more beneficial to those individuals with higher levels of homocysteine.

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