ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Vitamin B May Help Reduce Risk of Dementia

Updated on April 8, 2012

High plasma homocysteine levels is associated with double the risk of Alzheimer's disease[3]. Vitamin B12, folic acid (which is B9), and pyridoxine (which is B6) all helps lower the level of homocysteine levels. So can the risk of Alzheimer's disease be reduced by taking vitamin B's to lower homocysteine levels? The answer is that it may for certain individuals.

Of course there are many other causes of dementia beside high homocysteine levels. And people with normal levels of homocysteine may not benefit as much from taking B vitamins as those who have high homocysteine levels. Plus individuals are different. What works for one person may not work for another. That is why some studies get mixed results.

High Homocysteine Increase Risk of Alzheimer's

Homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the human body. Its level in the blood can be measured via a blood test. High homocysteine levels damages the linings of the arteries. So it increases the risk of coronary artery disease as well as Alzheimer's disease.

It is important to know which came first. Is it high homocysteine first and then Alzheimer's. Or Alzheimer's disease that caused high homocysteine levels. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine says that it is the former ...

"The prospective nature of this study and the strong association between newly diagnosed dementia and Alzheimer's disease and plasma homocysteine levels measured eight years before base line suggest that the elevation in the homocysteine level preceded the onset of dementia."

But how would high homocysteine cause dementia? High homocysteine is associated with atherosclerosis which increase risk of stroke, which in turn increases risk of Alzheimer's.

Other study says that high homocysteine levels are neuro-toxic and can kill brain cells. It says in more scientific terms ...

"Human studies suggest that homocysteine (Hcy) plays a role in brain damage, cognitive and memory decline. ... Hcy itself or folate and vitamin B12 deficiency can cause disturbed methylation and/or redox potentials, thus promoting calcium influx, amyloid and tau protein accumulation, apoptosis, and neuronal death."

But the good news is that ...

"Numerous neurotoxic effects of Hcy can be blocked by folate, glutamate receptor antagonists, or various antioxidants."

B Vitamin Lowers Alzheimer's Risk

That means that folate can help prevent the harmful effects of high homocysteine. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 that is found in foods. Folic acid is synthetic form of folate that is found in supplements.

Not only is folate helpful, but B12 and B6 vitamin are beneficial too. B vitamin is associated with lower rates of brain shrinkage. [reference] That is because high homocysteine is suspected for causing brain atrophy.

Page 17 of the book UltraPrevention acknowledges that ...

"homocysteine can be easily lowered using the correct dose of B vitamins such as folic acid, B6, and B12."

and that high homocysteine levels are linked to Alzheimer's disease [page 23].

Others such as WebMD reports that "vitamin B12 may help protect brain against Alzheimer's disease."

CNN says ...

"People who consume lots of foods rich in vitamin B12 -- such as fish and fortified cereals -- may be at lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease"

B vitamins and Methylation

How is it that these vitamin B's help reduce homocysteine? Folate and vitamin B12 along with other molecules help the body convert homocysteine into beneficial SAMe.

Vitamin B6 along with other components help convert homocysteine into a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier gluthathione in what is known as the methylation pathway as explained by Dr. Kartzinel.

Your body needs vitamin B6, B12, and folate for energy. This is because B vitamins among other elements are needed in order to make coenzyme-Q10 which supports the cell's energy producing mitochondria.

Dr. Mark Hyman gave a talk at Google in which he says ...

"having adequate levels of nutrients, particularly the methylating nutrients, B6, folate, B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fats, these are critical for brain function." [see 46 minutes into video on right]

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)