High doses of vitamin B may slow the rate of brain shrinkage by 50% in elderly people who have trouble with their memory, according to Oxford University scientists in an article published recently in Plos One (Public Library of Science One) . This slowed rate of brain shrinkage results in a much slower progression of Dementia and Alzheimers.
This is one of the largest clinical trials examining the effects of vitamin B on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). People with MCI can function on a daily basis, but have trouble remembering things like people's names and the flow of conversation.
Homocysteine is an amino acid which is a risk factor for brain shrinkage, cognitive impairment and dementia. High doses of B vitamins are known to lower blood concentrations of homocysteine. The participants with high homocysteine blood levels at the start of the trial who took the B vitamins and folic acid experienced half the brain shrinkage compared to participants with the high homocysteine blood levels who received the placebo.
B vitamins are found naturally in many foods, including meat, fish, eggs and green vegetables. But, the study administered such high doses of vitamin B that it was classified as a drug treatment.
This study could be a breakthrough in the prevention of Alzheimers, which affects the quality of life of thousands of elderly individuals, and their families.