Brainy People are high on B12, according to Brain Health Study

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A recent study on brain health proves that people who eat a diet rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B12, have healthy brain functioning, and are least likely to suffer from memory problems caused by aging.  Here are the results of the study that focused on senior brain health in relation to diet and nutrition.

Eat this to avoid brain shrinkage…

According to a study published by Neurology, senior citizens in their 80’s who eat a combination of foods high in vitamins and nutrients have better cognitive skills and more brain volume than seniors who fail to meet the requirement.  Blood tests indicated which senior citizens had the highest levels of vitamins like B12 and B6, and which elderly individuals had vitamin deficiency.

The study found that the following vitamins are conducive to good brain health:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid)
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D

Scientists also noted that foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for optimal brain health.

…and avoid eating this

Scientists also noted decreased cognitive functioning and less brain volume in senior citizens who ate foods high in trans fats, including fried foods, pizza, margarine, and high-fat packaged goods.

Which foods are highest in vitamin B12?

Here is a list of foods that contain brain-healthy vitamins such as B12, taken from Medline Plus:

  • Vitamin B1, Thiamine: yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat
  • Vitamin B2, Riboflavin: milk, meat, eggs, nuts, enriched flour, and green vegetables
  • Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine: cereals, beans, vegetables, liver, meat, and eggs
  • Vitamin B9, Folate: leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans, peas and nuts
  • Vitamin B12, Cobalamin: meat, fish, and dairy products
  • Vitamin C, Ascorbic acid: fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens
  • Vitamin E: vegetable oils, margarine, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens
  • Vitamin D: egg yolks, saltwater fish, and liver


How do I know I’m getting enough vitamin B12?

Even if you eat plenty of foods high in B12- lean beef, chicken, seafood, eggs, and cheese-, you are not immune from vitamin B12 deficiency.  People who lack intrinsic factor, a protein produced by the stomach to absorb B12 from food, cannot digest vitamin B12 and are at risk for developing pernicious anemia.

The following individuals must have their vitamin B12 levels checked regularly through blood testing:

  • Senior citizens
  • Patients of gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease
  • Anybody who has had a gastric bypass, or any other surgery involving the removal of the ileum
  • Diabetics on metformin
  • Acid reflux sufferers taking medication for chronic heartburn

Read more about vitamin B12 and brain health:

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

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain

Vitamin B12- How much do you need?

12 Ways to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

Feed your Brain Something You’ll never Forget


Diet Patterns Linked With Brain Health

Vitamins, Omega-3s May Keep Brain From Shrinking: Study

Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and MRI measures of brain aging

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