New research has recently backed up what scientists have long considered to be true: mega-doses of vitamin B can slow the progression of dementia and inhibit brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease! In research conducted by Oxford University and published in the journal, PLoS One, 168 subjects with mild cognitive impairment were studied after taking mega-doses of B6, B9 and B12 vitamins or placebo. Of those subjects taking the vitamin B supplements, brain tissue shrank at roughly half the rate found in patients receiving the placebo! Science shows that supplemental B vitamins tend to reduce homocysteine levels, which, when elevated, have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The participants in the study with higher levels of homocysteine experienced the most benefit from taking B vitamins.
Alzheimer’s disease has grown in our cultural consciousness as more and more well-known figures suffer from what was once a more silent disease. Twenty years ago, no one talked about the causes of this debilitating and slow-developing killer which strickens the elderly. Back then, we just saw our grandparents, friends or acquaintances seemingly suffering from old age or losing their minds. Now, as we better understand this disease, there are preventative steps we can take and factors that can reduce our risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
As mentioned above, reducing homocysteine levels is paramount to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. A diet high in meat and dairy can contribute to higher levels of homocysteine in our bodies. Researchers have found that elevated homocysteine doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s disease onset. In fact, it has been found that for every unit increase in homocysteine levels, the risk of Alzheimer’s increases by 16%! Again, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 have been shown to dramatically reduce levels of homocysteine in the bloodstream. And while we age and suffer from natural loss of B12, we must replace these essential vitamins through diet or with all-natural, easily absorbed supplements.
The best news of all regarding B vitamin supplements is that they are safe and non-toxic, even in mega-doses! Being a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin B is excreted after use in the body. Vitamin B can be taken as part of an energy-boosting multivitamin, in B-complex form or just as a B-12 supplement. Why not protect ourselves early by starting a regimen of high-quality, easily absorbed vitamins to improve our health while we still have it?