Friday, November 14, 2008

The Importance Of Vitamin B12 To Keep Your Brain Young

About 40% of the US population is deficient in Vitamin B12. Recent research has shown that older people with low levels of Vitamin B12 are at increased risk for brain atrophy or shrinkage. Brain atrophy is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and impaired cognitive function.

This study, involving more than 100 volunteers aged 61 to 87, found that individuals with the lowest Vitamin B12 levels at the start of the study had a greater decrease in brain volume after five years. Those with the lowest levels of B12 had a six-fold greater rate of brain loss.

An important fact to note is that none of the participants were actually deficient in Vitamin B12, though they were in the low level of normal range.

As I said, since 40% of the population is actually deficient, this means the number of older people experiencing brain loss is probably much higher. It also means having a blood test that shows your B12 level is in the ‘normal range’ might not mean that you are at the level for optimum healthy brain functioning.

So…get your Vitamin B12 level checked by your doctor and make sure you aim to keep it at the higher end of the normal range.
(Reported in Neurology 2008)

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