Vitamin B12 may reduce age-related dementia

February 14, 2007 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Vitamin B12 may reduce age-related dementia
According to researchers from the University of Michigan, increased levels of vitamin B12 may reduce age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

Researchers recruited over 1400 older Mexican Americans and monitored their blood levels of B12 and cognitive decline for 4.5 years.

After the follow up period, researchers found that higher blood levels of vitamin B12 were associated with lower homocysteine levels, which were linked to an overall lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Over the follow up period, researchers found that elevated homocysteine levels (13 micromoles per litre or more) were associated with a 136 percent increased risk of dementia.  The risk of dementia further increased in subjects with low vitamin B12 levels.

Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include meat, dairy products and eggs.  The primary function of vitamin B12 is the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system.

These findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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