Recent studies suggest an association between low Vitamin B12 levels and elevated homocysteine levels, which leads to cognitive impairment (dementia)1-5. Elevated homocysteine concentrations contribute to cognitive impairment by causing atrophy (shrinking) of the brain1-2.
Studies suggest that supplementation of Vitamin B12 can both prevent this type of incident dementia and may even help reverse it1-2. One recent study (click on the link to read the study) showed that both low concentrations of Folate (Vitamin B9) and Vitamin B12 were associated with twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease6.
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1. Vogiatzoglou A, Refsum H, Johston S, et al. Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly. Neurology. 2008 Sep 9;71(11):826-32.
2. Kim JM, Stewart R, Kim SW Changes in folate, vitamin B12 and homocystine associated with incident dementia. J Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry 2008;79;864-868.
3. Smith DA. Homocysteine, B vitamins, and cognitive deficit in the elderly.
Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:785–6.
4. Tucker KL, Qiao N, Scott T, et al. High homocysteine and low B vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):627-35.
5. Duthie SJ, Whalley LJ, Collins AR, et al. Homocysteine, B vitamin status, and cognitive function in the elderly. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:908-913.
6. Wang HX, Wahlin A, Basun H, et al. Vitamin B12 and folate in relation to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurolgy 2001;56:1188-94.