Can B Vitamins Slow Dementia?

Yesterday, I saw a news item that said B vitamins can help slow the development of dementia. A study in Britain showed that large doses of B vitamins can actually slow down rate at which the brain shrinks in elderly people with memory problems. This may slow the slide into dementia.

These results were achieved in a two year clinical trial at Oxford University. Now, more clinical trials have to confirm the results. The vitamins B12 and B6 were given in huge quantities -- not over-the-counter doses. Dosages this high make the vitamins more like drugs than mere supplements. It doesn't sound like something you should do at home.

But B12 and B6 do seem to cut the amount of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine has been linked to the risk of developing Alzheimer's. People taking the high doses of vitamins did better on cognitive tests vs. those taking a placebo. More studies are coming.

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