Dutch researchers report that older adults who receive a daily folic acid supplement have improved memory and slower rate of cognitive decline.
Researchers randomly assigned 818 older adults to receive a daily folic acid supplement (800 micrograms per day) or a placebo, for three years.
After the study period, researchers used a variety of tests, including a word test and verbal fluency test to assess cognitive function.
Overall, researchers found that participants who received the supplement were typically 4.7 years younger in terms of memory, 2.1 years younger for information processing and 1.5 years younger for cognitive function, compared to the placebo group.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of folic acid is 400 micrograms for men and women under 50, 600 micrograms for women who are pregnant and 500 micrograms for mothers who are breastfeeding.
The findings were published in the January 15th 2007 edition of The Lancet.
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