Brain Health

Take This Vitamin And Save Your Memory

Take This Vitamin And Save Your Memory about undefined
An increasing body of evidence proves what I’ve been saying for more than two decades - nutritional supplements can sharpen fading memories and prevent cognitive decline. Although many different nutrients fit the bill, this type of vitamin in particular is standing out. I’m talking about B vitamins. In fact, the B-vitamin group contains eight members that work closely together to sharpen your memory and stave off mental decline. When it comes to B vitamins and brain function, studies have focused almost exclusively on folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, as key nutrients to stave off mental decline. But each of the eight members of the B-vitamin group is kept at comparatively high concentrations in the brain. And for good reason - a deficiency of any single one of them can lead to neurological and psychiatric symptoms.

All B Vitamins Are Needed

Professor David Kennedy, Director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at the University of Northumbria, in England, believes the focus on just two or three of the B-vitamin group is misguided. He writes that the “administration of the entire B-vitamin group, rather than a small subset, at doses greatly in excess of the current governmental recommendations, would be a rational approach for preserving brain health.” He adds that individually and collectively, they “also work intricately in concert with other vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.” This emphasizes the synergistic role nutrients play in health, including brain health. Since a growing body of evidence shows vitamin supplements can stall cognitive decline, researchers from China wanted to explore the relationship between cognitive ability and supplements Chinese people take that have known effects on cognition.

B Complex Shows Biggest Risk Reduction

For their study they enrolled 892 men and women aged above 50 who they assessed for cognitive status and then divided into four groups:
  1. Cognitively healthy
  2. Subjective cognitive decline
  3. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
  4. Alzheimer’s disease impairment
After considering many influencing factors on cognitive function and adjusting for these, their results revealed some important information. Compared to those who didn’t take a daily vitamin D supplement, people with MCI had a lower risk of progressing to Alzheimer’s if they supplemented with vitamin D. This is vital since MCI has been long believed to result in Alzheimer’s disease in many cases. As for people with normal cognition, they had less risk of suffering from memory impairment if they took either vitamin D, B vitamins, folic acid, or CoQ10. That’s not surprising, but the researchers saw the biggest risk reduction in those participants taking B complex every day.

Take Vitamin B Complex And Stop Dementia

In their paper published in the journal Nutrients in March, the researchers recommend people over the age of 50 take these nutrients “as a potential preventive measure to slow cognitive decline and neurodegeneration.” But here’s the thing: Since this research shows that whatever supplement people took (vitamin D, B vitamins, folic acid, CoQ10) benefited the health of the brain, why the emphasis on the entire B complex? This is because folic acid and the vitamins B6 and B12 lower a potentially toxic byproduct of protein ingestion called homocysteine—and it’s great for your overall health, but not enough for your memory. You see, high levels of this compound are linked to heart disease and dementia. However, as Professor Kennedy notes, a review of 17 trials involving 39,107 participants and 12 trials involving 47,429 participants found folic acid, B6, and B12 had no protective effect against cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease events or all-cause mortality even though they reliably lowered homocysteine. In his view, supplementation with the entire B group of vitamins is necessary because all eight “are absolutely essential for every aspect of brain function.”

Deficiency Runs Rampant

Although many people believe that if they eat well, they’ll get all the nutrients they need, this isn’t borne out in either surveys or blood analysis. This is especially true when it comes to B vitamins. A survey found that a sizeable proportion of the U.S. population consumes less than the recommended daily amount for each of the five B vitamins that scientists assessed. Other research points to shocking deficiency rates of B vitamins. For instance, scientists found:
  • Between 23 percent and 27 percent of the population are deficient in vitamin B6
  • Over 30 percent of over 60-year-olds are deficient in vitamin B12
  • Up to 18 percent of over 60-year-olds are deficient in vitamin B1
“Taken as a whole,” Professor Kennedy writes, “these figures suggest that a very sizeable proportion of the populations of developed countries are suffering deficiency or marginal deficiency in one or more B vitamins that may, at the least, dispose them to a variety of chronic diseases.”

How To Take B Complex

You can find a variety of B complex supplements in health food stores and on the internet. They all have different amounts of the common B vitamins. Some also contain vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These are often called B complex with C. The standard B complex includes:
  • Thiamin (B-1)
  • Riboflavin (B-2)
  • Niacin (B-3)
  • Pantothenic acid (B-5)
  • Pyridoxine (B-6)
  • Folic acid (B-9)
  • Cobalamin (B-12)
Some B complex products often include:
  • Biotin (vitamin H)
  • Choline
  • Inositol
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
Remember, B vitamins are water-soluble. That means they dissolve in water so your body can’t store them within cells. That’s why it’s important to ensure you take a quality B complex supplement every single day. Best Regards, The Awakening From Alzheimer’s Team  

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