ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alzheimer's Disease|Progression|Homocysteine Levels and Vitamin B

Updated on December 18, 2013
Alois Alzheimer
Alois Alzheimer
By National Institute on Aging [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By National Institute on Aging [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a cruel degenerative disease which robs sufferers of their mental faculties. Starting out by forgetting words and lapses of memory, the disease gradually gets worse until the sufferer regresses almost to babyhood. See another of my articles which explains the condition in depth.

What is the Vitamin B connection?

Research has been carried out at Oxford University on patients from the Oxford area recently which shows that taking vitamins in the B group can slow down the degeneration of the brains of patients affected by Alzheimer’s disease by seven times. The B vitamins are as follows:

  • B12 - Contained in Milk, cottage cheese, meat, oysters, turkey, eggs, liver, shellfish, tuna and sardines.
  • Folic Acid - Found in Liver, broccoli, avocado, grains, spinach, strawberries, cabbage, beans and cauliflower.
  • B6 – Present in Onions, potatoes, bananas, chicken, broccoli, other green leafy vegetables, lentils, prunes, peppers, nuts, seeds and watermelon.

By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Colours of Health  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Colours of Health Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

What are some signs of deficiency in B vitamins?

  • B12 deficiency – Weakness, muscle aches and spasms, pernicious anaemia, hyperhomocysteinemia, anxiety, numbness of extremities, weakness, tension, stomach problems, skin lesions and hyperpigmentation.
  • Folic Acid deficiency – Anaemia, tiredness, fainting, headache, pallor tinnitus and palpitations
  • B6 deficiency – Seborrhoeic dermatitis, conjunctivitis, sore tongue, splits at the corner of the mouth (angular cheilitis), neuropathy and intertrigo

Why are B Vitamins so helpful in Alzheimer’s patients?

The reason some B vitamins are so helpful is because they lower the level of an amino acid called Homocysteine and it is high levels of this which cause Alzheimer’s disease as well as heart disease and strokes. Generally as people age their diets and nutrition become less healthy and they take in fewer vitamins so it makes sense to supplement with vitamin pills. Consuming B Vitamins has been found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Homocysteine By Ben Mills and Jynto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Homocysteine By Ben Mills and Jynto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

What is Homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an amino acid which is produced in the body as a by product of methionine. If there is not enough consumption of B12, B6 and Folate the levels of Homocysteine rise too high.

By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source
Diabetes - Insulin Pen  Picture taken by PerPlex. Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Diabetes - Insulin Pen Picture taken by PerPlex. Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License | Source

Is there anything else which pre-disposes a person to having high homocysteine?

Yes there are a number of factors:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Family history of stroke or heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes

What is the effect of high levels of Homocysteine?

Elevated levels of the amino acid can cause the following conditions:

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Stroke
  • Coronary Artery disease
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Are there tests to determine Homocysteine levels?

There are blood tests available but although cholesterol is regularly tested by medical professionals; it is rare for homocysteine levels to be tested. There are some home testing kits for homocysteine which cost around £95.00 in the UK. They are obtainable from: in the UK priced currently at $80.

What is the effect on Alzheimer’s patients of high homocysteine levels?

In Welsh trials it was found that healthy people with high levels of the amino acid suffer more cognitive decline over a five year period than those with normal levels. Patients’ already suffering from Alzheimer’s had high levels of homocysteine.

A positive side effect from taking B vitamins to lower the level of homocysteine in the blood is a lessening of the risk factors for heart disease, stroke and DVT as well as slowing the mental decline of patients with Alzheimer’s.


Would you take B Vitamins to try to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease?

See results

© Susan Bailey 2013 All Rights Reserved


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)