Groundbreaking Study on Alzheimer’s Disease and B Vitamins
Can supplemental B vitamins decrease brain shrinkage and preserve mental function for men and women at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? Yes, according to a two-year study by researchers at Oxford University. But, despite these findings, scientists aren’t advocating universal use of supplemental Triple B (folic acid, B12 and vitamin B6). Taking B vitamins can actually increase the blood level of an amino acid called homocysteiene, which can damage blood vessels and is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, as well as heart attack and stroke. In short, B vitamins can help or hurt with Alzheimer’s, depending on your medical history.
If you’re at a high risk of stroke or dementia, B Vitamins can help, but if you have homocysteine levels above 9.5 micromoles/liter, it may not do much good. And if you have diabetes, have suffered a heart attack, or have severe hardened arteries, B Vitamins can put you at greater risk. In short, consider getting a blood test before stocking up on B-complex. Or even better, consult with a nutritionist or doctor about what vitamin supplements are right for you. Check out Leo Galland, M.D.’s article on Huffington Post.