By Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.
You definitely don't want your brain to shrink with age. The reason is because brain shrinkage is a sign of brain aging and often the first finding when a doctor does a scan on a person who is
complaining about memory loss. What you really want is a robust brain.
As we heard in the media, a B vitamin deficiency has been revealed to be linked to depression, especially in women and now studies reveal cognitive decline also is an outcome of low B's. Now however, there's exciting news showing that taking B vitamins can reduce the brain shrinkage that is often seen in aging, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
This published study, involving people with memory problems, found that taking vitamin B slowed the brain-cell damage that is believed to be associated with dementia. In particular, the group took vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. This healing combination of nutrients has been found to lower levels of homocysteine, a marker for inflammation. High levels of
homocysteine have been linked to a higher risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Beyond that, B vitamins are also super important for maximizing your brain energy. This new research supports other studies linking B vitamins to brain health. For example, one recent study found that older people with higher levels of vitamin B12 were six times less likely to experience brain shrinkage. Other research has linked having lower levels of one B vitamin, folate, with a greater risk for cognitive decline.
There's no doubt in my mind that the B vitamins are essential for brain health. I've been writing about B Vitamins and your brain health for over 15 years as well as many other nutrients and how they have been shown to help in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
Several B vitamins may be the window to discovering more about the brain's power and functions as well as detecting mental health issues, new research suggests. Low levels of the B vitamin folate, are associated with symptoms of dementia and mild cognitive impairment. The latest study began in 1996 and includes about 1,800 people ages 60 to 101.
B-12 deficiency has been more common because of poor dietary habits even in the US. The main reason is because we don't absorb it from your diet as we age. According to this work, supplements will work because even if you can't absorb it naturally through food, you can through supplements. Researchers found a noticeable decrease in brain function in participants with low levels of B vitamins. They also found that women with low levels fared worse than men. That finding provided new evidence of an association between lower blood levels of B's with depression and brain function.
So get your B's as well as maximum doses of antioxidants such as A, C and E as well as critically important minerals that jump start your brain.