Vitamin B6 may protect against Parkinson's

August 9, 2006 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Vitamin B6 may protect against Parkinson's
A study by researchers in the Netherlands suggests increased intake of vitamin B6, from diet and supplements, could cut the risk of Parkinson�s disease by half.

Researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, recruited over 5000 people over the age of 55 and found that those with the highest total vitamin B6 intake had significantly lower risk of developing the disease than those with the lowest intake.

To examine the relationship between vitamin B6 and Parkinson�s researchers assessed dietary intakes at the very start of the study using semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires. Physical examinations of the subjects, including neurological exams, were conducted at baseline and at three yearly intervals.

After an average of ten years of follow-up, 72 new cases of Parkinson�s disease had been diagnosed.

The average vitamin B6 intake was 1.63 milligrams per day, average B12 intake was 5.3 micrograms per day, and average folate intake of 218.7 micrograms per day.

The researchers found that people who had daily vitamin B6 intakes of 230.9 micrograms or more had an associated risk of developing Parkinson�s disease 54 per cent lower than people who had average daily intakes lower than 185.1 micrograms.

No significant reductions in the risk of Parkinson�s disease were found for folate or vitamin B12, although the authors could rule out an effect from these nutrients.

These findings were published in the journal Neurology.

For more information on Parkinson�s, visit the Parkinson Society Canada website

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