B vitamins may improve cognitive function
Good brain function in older adults depends on a constant supply of certain B vitamins, which help keep inflammatory homocysteine levels in check. To test if B vitamins could improve cognitive function in middle aged and older adults, doctors gave 104 people 800 mcg of folic acid, 10 mg of vitamin B6, and 25 mcg of vitamin B12 per day, or a placebo. After 14 weeks, vitamin B levels in the placebo group had stayed the same or decreased, and homocysteine levels increased, while cognitive function did not change. In the supplement group, levels of B vitamins increased while inflammatory homocysteine levels decreased, and cognitive function significantly improved.

Discussing their findings, doctors said low vitamin B and elevated homocysteine levels injure the brain, creating the conditions that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders, and for older adults with elevated homocysteine levels, recommend taking B-vitamin supplements regularly.

Reference: Nutr Neurosci. 2014 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]
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