This Vitamin Could Protect Against Alzheimer’s

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

A recent study conducted at the Aging Research Center in Stockholm, Sweden, has found that people who eat a diet rich in vitamin B12 may be protecting themselves from Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study, a team of researchers looked at homocysteine levels in the blood of 271 Finns 65 to 79 who did not have dementia at the beginning of the study. The researchers also looked at levels of “holotranscobalamin,” which is the active protein of vitamin B12. Holotranscobalamin helps to lower homocysteine levels (an enzyme implicated in the onset of disease).

During seven years of follow-up, 17 people developed Alzheimer’s. The researchers found that, for each small increase of homocysteine, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease rose 16%. However — and here is the interesting part — with each small increase in vitamin B12, the risk of Alzheimer’s dropped two percent.

These results remained constant after the researchers compensated for other factors, such as age, sex, education, smoking, blood pressure, and weight.

So — vitamin B12 could protect against neurological deterioration as you age. It may be able to help prevent Parkinson’s disease, too. For those already suffering from the condition, B12 could protect against neural toxicity. This powerhouse vitamin also shows promise in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.

What is vitamin B12’s “everyday” job? It’s there to ensure your red blood cells are made properly, including your DNA. When cells rapidly divide — as they do when your body is growing or developing — more B12 is needed. It’s also needed in the areas of your body that have a high turnover of cells, namely your intestines and your blood. Among its many roles, vitamin B12 also helps you to maintain a healthy nervous system. Specifically, it helps protect the important protein “myelin,” which surrounds your nerve cells.

Things to know about supplementing with B12:

–The best form of B12 is methylcobalamin. The most common form is cyanocobalamin, as it is easier to manufacture and less expensive to sell. Methylcobalamin is much more readily absorbed by your body.

–Those with absorption problems should consider taking B12 in sublingual form (dissolved under the tongue).

–People who lack intrinsic factor (a protein found in the gastrointestinal tract that is necessary for absorption of B12) may need to take B12 injections.

–The RDI for B12 is two micrograms.

Anti-gout medications may block the absorption of B12.

–Anti-coagulant drugs could also block the absorption of B12.

–Be aware that if you take potassium supplements, you may not be able to effectively absorb B12.

–Strict vegetarians will most likely require B12 supplementation.