Folate may ward off Alzheimer's disease

August 17, 2005 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Folate may ward off Alzheimer's disease

According to the latest study findings, consuming the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of folate – a B vitamin – can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from the University of California Irvine found that, among 600 older adults, those who consumed at least 400 micrograms of folate a day (the RDA for adults) through diet or supplements were 55 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. These findings back earlier evidence of a link between folate or folic acid and risk of Alzheimer’s.

Folate refers to the B vitamin found naturally in foods. Good sources include lentils, black beans, cooked spinach, asparagus, avocado and sunflower seeds. Folic acid refers to the synthetic form of the B vitamin founding vitamin supplements and fortified foods (flour, pasta). Most multivitamin products provide 400 micrograms of folic acid.

While these results seem promising, the study is observational in nature so it’s possible that other factors may be responsible for the reduction in risk. For instance, people with a high intake of one nutrient are likely to have a high intake of several nutrients, and may generally have a healthy lifestyle. Additional studies are needed to determine whether folate has a direct role in risk reduction for Alzheimer’s and to determine appropriate recommendation.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.