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article imageIs Vitamin B12 the Answer to Reducing Alzheimer's Risk?

By Susan Berg     Oct 20, 2010 in Health
A Finnish study suggests a diet rich in Vitamin B12 protects your brain from Alzheimer’s disease but the trial small. The results are promising.
The findings of a recent study in at the Aging Research Center in Stockholm, Sweden seemingly suggest once again that vitamins can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Studies other than this one have shown mixed results, the researchers said.
"Previous studies have reported that vitamin B12 deficiency is a common condition in the elderly," said lead researcher Dr. Babak Hooshmand, a research assistant with the Aging Research Center at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
"Our results indicate that vitamin B12 and related metabolites may have a role in Alzheimer's disease, but more research is needed before we can get conclusions on the role of vitamin B12 supplements on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease," he added.
The report about this study is published in the October 19th issue of Neurology.
In this study, the group of researchers led by Hooshmand studied the homocysteine levels in the blood of 271 Finns 65 to 79 who were dementia free at the beginning of the study.
They did this because high levels of homocysteine have been associated with having an increased risk of stroke. The researchers also studied blood levels of holotranscobalamin. holotranscobalamin is the active protein of vitamin B12 and has been shown to lower blood levels of homocysteine, said the researchers .
During seven years of following the study, 17 people developed Alzheimer's.
The researchers compensated for other factors, such as age, education, sex blood pressure, smoking, and weight.
Foods that have high levels of Vitamin B12 are fish eggs, poultry and other meats. The best way to have a normal Vitamin B12 os to eat a bakanced diet rather than taking supplements Hooshmand stated.
Greg M. Cole, Alzheimer's expert, and professor of neurology and medicine and at the University of California, Los Angeles, said "this new study is too small to say that it adds a lot to the association of Alzheimer's disease and dementia with high homocysteine."
"But it is interesting that higher B12 appears protective given the recently published report that B vitamin supplements appeared to reduce brain shrinkage," he said.
More about B12, Alzheimers Disease, Finnish study, Babak hooshmand, Aging research center
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