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#6 - BRAIN SHRINKAGE AND B VITAMINS

  • Professor David Smith and his colleagues at Oxford University have found that taking a Vitamin B supplement from middle age could protect your memory as you grow older and even delay the development of Alzheimer's disease.
  • The 2 year trial is the largest to study the effect of B vitamins on mild cognitive (ie learning, memory, recall etc) impairment, and one of the first trials in the Alzheimer's field to show positive results in people.
  • Around 1 in 6 people over the age of 70 has mild cognitive impairment, experiencing problems with memory, language, or other mental functions, but not to a degree that interferes with daily life. Around 50% of these people go on to develop dementia- mainly Alzheimer's disease - within 5 years of diagnosis.
  • The research team also found that the group taking the B vitamins had up to 500% less brain shrinkage than the placebo (dummy drug) group.
  • I found this article immensely hopeful and re-assuring, in that something as simple and safe as a B vitamin supplement could make such a big difference for ourselves or older family members.
  • Memory problems are often the first comment I hear from many of my middle-aged and senior patients - this study has certainly given me more confidence that a good quality B complex supplement is a worthwhile treatment option. In clinic we recommend an activated form of B vitamins as they are already in their "active" state, and don't need to be coverted by your body.
  • B's for Better Brains...
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