Good memory and a well functioning brain would be high on a wish list for most people. The research reviewed here evaluated the effectiveness of a simple thing everybody can do for themselves. The researchers investigated if taking B-vitamins can make a difference in cognitive function (de Jager CA, et al. 2011).
The participants were 70 years or older with mild cognitive impairment. The study was conducted over 2 years and was double-blind. The participants received a daily dose of 800 micrograms of folic acid, 500 micrograms of B12 and 20 mg of B6 or a placebo.
It was documented that total homocysteine levels were 30% lower in the ones who were treated with B-vitamins compared to the ones who received the placebo. Homocysteine is an amino acid associated with brain atrophy. The results also showed that B-vitamins stabilized executive function relative to the placebo.
It was concluded that B-vitamins appear to slow cognitive and clinical decline in people with mild cognitive impairment, in particular in those with elevated homocysteine.
When taking B-vitamins keep in mind that not everybody metabolize folic acid properly. For those people or just as a safeguard, it is a good idea to also include the metabolite of folic acid when you take B-vitamins.