Vitamin B12 linked to cognitive health
Even moderately low vitamin B12 levels impair brain function
by Newsletter Editor
Doctors know mental ability declines when vitamin B12 is deficient, but this study found even moderately low vitamin B12 levels impair brain function, possibly affecting many more people than previously thought.
Researchers divided 549 men and women, average age 75, into five groups based on blood levels of vitamin B12. Participants had taken cognitive performance tests during the previous eight years. Those in the two lowest vitamin B12 groups; deficient in, and very low in vitamin B12, saw cognitive performance scores decline equally rapidly over the eight-year study period, and much faster than those with higher vitamin B12 levels.
Discussing their findings, doctors said that although this study does not prove that low vitamin B12 causes cognitive decline, the two appear to be linked, and older adults in particular need to take extra steps to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels.
Reference: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; 2012, Vol. 60, No. 8, 1457-64