Can Vitamin B Reduce Risk for AD?

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

A short time ago, we reviewed the promising evidence that Vitamin B levels are negatively correlated with brain atrophy. That is, higher levels of Vitamin B were correlated to less brain shrinkage. This spawned hope that these vitamins might be somehow preventative of diseases that result in brain atrophy.

Today, there is more news about B Vitamins and brain health.

The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, has published in Neurology, a study showing that elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid related to Vitamin B12, seemed to increase risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. However, high levels of the biologically active portion of Vitamin B12 (holoTC) was correlated with reduced risk. The results make sweeping conclusions difficult to draw.

At this point, the strongest conclusions that should be drawn from these studies of Vitamin B are that, (1) Vitamin B seems to pay some important role in brain biology, an (2) no one really knows for sure what that role is.

I have already seen several headlines suggesting that Vitamin B prevents Alzheimer's. That might someday prove to be the case, but it is far too early and too many questions remain for anyone to defend such a position.

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