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Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimers’

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Monday, May 27th, 2013

 

 

Taking high doses of vitamin B12 may delay the symptoms of dementia, according to a new study. For pennies a day, elderly individuals experiencing the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia can sustain brain mass for longer, just by preventing vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

B12 slows dementia

It’s not the first time that studies have proven the cognitive benefits of vitamin B12 supplementation for people with Alzheimer’s disease, but it flies in the face of various drug companies who have been trying for decades to produce similar results, to no avail.

According to the study just released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the best treatment for dementia includes a three-prong regimen of social activity, exercise, and supplementation of three essential B vitamins- vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid.

“It’s the first and only disease-modifying treatment that’s worked,” said A. David Smith, Oxford University professor and senior author of the study on vitamin B12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease. “We have proved the concept that you can modify the disease.”

Prevent Dementia: 12 Natural Vitamins and Herbs

As of yet, there are no other treatments or medications available that comes close to providing the same results as these three inexpensive B vitamins in delaying the progression of brain atrophy in dementia patients.

B12 controls homocysteine

Among the many roles that vitamin B12 plays in maintaining good health, one of the most significant is its ability to control homocysteine, a protein known to contribute to heart attacks and stroke.

For the study, scientists wanted to prove a link between dementia and homocysteine levels.

  • Researchers gathered 156 people over the age of 70 who were experiencing memory loss, and also had high levels of homocysteine.
  • Participants were given one of two treatments for dementia: a supplement containing a mixture of vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid, or a placebo.
  • For the following two years, scientists compared MRI brain scan results, along with blood tests confirming homocysteine levels.
  • Among people who had very high levels of homocysteine, suggesting vitamin B12 deficiency, brain atrophy advanced at a rate of 5.2% in people who took the placebo.
  • Memory loss patients with high homocysteine who were given the vitamin supplements containing vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid saw only a 0.06% decrease in brain atrophy.

Can B12 deficiency Cause Dementia? Some Helpful Facts

Compare those results to people who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency or dementia…

Let the numbers speak for themselves

According to Smith, healthy elderly adults without vitamin B12 deficiency begin to experience brain shrinkage from the age of 60, at the rate of about 0.5%.

  • High homocysteine, vitamin B12 deficiency- 5.2% brain deterioration.
  • High homocysteine, using vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid- 0.6% brain deterioration.
  • Normal homocysteine, normal levels of vitamin B12- 0.5% brain deterioration.

So, with vitamin B12 supplementation, people with high homocysteine levels can slow down the rate of dementia to a rate that is a mere 0.1% higher than individuals of the same age who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency.

What’s the upshot?

If you have high homocysteine levels, you can reduce your risk of suffering early dementia by taking extra doses of vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, especially if you are already experiencing warning symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, including memory loss, fatigue, depression, disorientation, and numbness and tingling.

While it won’t cure Alzheimer’s disease, taking daily vitamin B12 can significantly delay brain atrophy that occurs to all people over the age of 60.

But it’s important to catch vitamin B12 deficiency early. The longer you wait, the more likely you will begin to suffer irreparable cell death and brain atrophy due to elevated homocysteine.

To test for vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a blood test. He may prescribe large doses of vitamin B12, beginning with 1,000mcg, although it’s perfectly safe to take as much vitamin B12 as you need to relieve symptoms, as there are no FDA upper limits for vitamin B12 supplementation.

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Like this? Read more:

Aging begins at 45- Tips on how to Prevent Early Memory Loss

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

Sources:

Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment

Vitamins That Cost Pennies a Day Seen Delaying Dementia

Image courtesy of ohhhbetty/flickr

It’s National Nutrition Month: Are You Eating Your 5 Colors a Day?

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

We all know we’re supposed to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day, but are you getting all five colors?

Not all vegetables were created equal; the same goes for the wide variety of fruits. Some can prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and premature blindness. The only way to be sure you’re getting maximum vitamins is to include groups from all 5 hues.

  1. Seeing red? Fruits like tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers and pink grapefruit a phytochemical called lycopene, which many scientists believe is beneficial for preventing prostate and breast cancer.
  2. Orange foods are high in alpha and beta carotene, which your body needs to produce vitamin A.  Fruits like cantaloupe, tangerines and apricots have powerful antioxidants for killing  free radicals which threaten our immune system; yams, carrots and pumpkins are also good for your eyes and bones.  Now orange you glad you know that?
  3. Feeling yellow? Many yellow and green veggies  like wax beans, artichokes and corn contain lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals which prevent you from going blind in your old age.
  4. Go for the green when shopping for vegetables; broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and green cabbage help to rid your body of cancer-causing toxins.
  5. Berry-licious shades of  purple, red and blue mean the presence of brain-boosting and heart-healthy antioxidants; deep purple eggplants, berries, radishes and plums will keep your clock ticking.

Wanna read more about foods that are good for boosting memory?

Sources:

Eating Well

Bilingual Alzheimer’s Patients Fare Better Than Most

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Do you speak more than one language? A recent study shows that multilingualism is healthy for the brain.

Psychologist Ellen Bialystok of York University, Toronto recently conducted a study which focused on patients of  Alzheimer’s disease.  Out of the 450 test subjects, approximately half were bilingual, while the other half only spoke their Mother tongue.

The bilingual patients of Alzheimer’s suffered the same symptoms of brain deterioration as the patients who spoke only one language.  However, the onset of Alzheimer’s began 4-5 years later in life for the patients who were fluent in two languages than it did for the senior citizens who were only raised with one.

Dr. Bialystok explained it like this: the ability to speak fluently in more than one language enabled one focus group of seniors to cope with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s better than the test subjects who did not have the advantage of multi-language fluency. As a result, bilingual Alzheimer’s patients who are in the onset of the disease tend to be about 5 years older than early-stage patients who have been exposed to only one language.

FDA Approves Brain Scan to DetectAlzheimer’s Disease.

Her findings were presented at a meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was published in Neurology, 11/09/10.

Researchers believe that bilingual patients of Alzheimer’s are more functional than monolingual patients because of a difference in their brain makeup.  The ability to speak more than one language stems from a skill which employs the executive control system or our brains; because bilingual people exercise that brain function more often they are less likely to succumb to the symptoms of dementia.

The executive control center of the brain is essential for the following skills:

  • Self-Evaluation
  • Planning
  • Initiation
  • Time-Awareness
  • Self-Correction
  • Problem Solving

“It’s not that being bilingual prevents the disease,” explains Bialystok. “Instead, it allows those who develop Alzheimer’s to deal with it better.”

Source: Huffington Post

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