Take Steps to Prevent Memory Loss Early – Try Vitamin B, Yoga
A recent British study has found that brain functions, including memory, can begin declining as early as the mid-forties and possibly earlier. This decline includes memory, reasoning and comprehension abilities.
These are the results of a 10-year study following more than 7,000 British government workers. Researchers had originally expected to see no decline in cognitive functioning in those 45 to 49, but found a modest decline in mental reasoning in both men and women. In older individuals, the cognitive declines were even greater.
The good news? One third of those studied between the ages of 45 and 70 showed no loss in cognitive function. In other words, not all aging individuals experience reduction in those cognitive abilities tested.
Researchers did not include anyone younger than the age of 45 but based on these findings believe brain functions could actually begin declining in those younger than 45 years. Conditions thought to negatively affect cognitive functioning include cardiovascular function, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
Want to Prevent Memory Loss? Try B Vitamins and Yoga
If you want to take measures to prevent memory loss, try taking folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements. According to a recent Australian study, taking these supplements over the course of several years may enhance memory in aging adults.
The study examined more than 700 individuals aged 60 to 74 years who showed mild signs of depression. Participants were provided with pills containing either 400 micrograms of folic acid and 100 micrograms of vitamin B12, or a placebo pill containing no B vitamins or active ingredients. Participants were never informed which pills they were receiving.
After one year no differences were detected between the two groups in various mental test scores. However, after two years those taking the pills containing the B vitamins began showing larger improvements in their memory test scores. Although more research is needed, this study seems to suggest there may be some cognitive related benefits for certain individuals who take B vitamin supplements longer term.
Another antidote against memory loss? Yoga! According to a 2009 study, a combination of yoga postures and rest improved memory scores and decreased anxiety in a group of 57 practitioners.
Exercise in general increases oxygen flow to the brain and reduces the risk for disorders that precipitate memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise may also enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells.