Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Dementia
Researchers have long been interested in the potential connection between vitamin B12 deficiency and dementia. A recent review examined correlations between cognitive skills, homocysteine levels, and blood levels of folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
The authors suggested that vitamin B12 deficiency may decrease levels of substances needed for the metabolism of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit nerve signals. Reduced levels of neurotransmitters may result in cognitive impairment.
In 142 individuals considered at risk for dementia, researchers found that a daily supplement providing 2 milligrams (mg) folic acid and 1 mg vitamin B12, taken for 12 weeks, lowered homocysteine levels by 30%. They also demonstrated that cognitive impairment was significantly associated with elevated plasma total homocysteine. However, the decrease in homocysteine levels seen with the use of vitamin supplements did not improve cognition. It is too soon to make any recommendations, but is an intriguing area of research.
The Above Information Found At Office of Dietary Supplements • National Institutes of Health
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