Thursday, September 09, 2010

Vitamin B - a new breakthrough in Alzheimer's treatment

Vitamin B supplements could turn out to be the most effective way of fighting Alzheimer's disease so far discovered. Researchers at Oxford University studied 168 people who were all over 70 and who had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment - memory problems that are often the forerunner of Alzheimer's disease. Over two years half of the participants were given a daily tablet containing high doses of the B vitamins folic acid, B6 and B12 and half were given a placebo. The participants' brains were scanned and on average taking the B vitamins slowed the rate of brain atrophy by 30% - in many cases the shrinkage was reduced by 53%. It is thought that vitamin B reduces the levels of a harmful protein called homocysteine - which has been linked to brain shrinkage - in the bloodstream. Vitamin B is relatively inexpensive and fairly safe although the doses used in the trial were much higher than those found in food or most vitamin supplements and there is some evidence that high folic acid intake could be linked to cancer. Nevertheless this could be an exciting breakthrough, even if more research is needed to confirm the beneficial effect of vitamin B.

You can find out more about this research by clicking on the title of this post.

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