The older we get, the more our brains are susceptible to brain shrinkage. This shrinkage is accompanied by a steady cognitive decline, meaning difficulty to concentrate, forgetfulness or difficulty in retrieving words.

However, research has shown that this brain shrinkage can be substantially reduced by taking B vitamins.

Researchers from the University of Oxford gave old people vitamin B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12 during 2 years.

They found that the brains of people taking B vitamins shrunk seven times less compared to the placebo group.

The researchers concluded that B vitamins ‘may substantially slow down, or even potentially arrest the disease process in those with early stage cognitive decline’ and that ‘this is the first treatment that has been shown to potentially arrest Alzheimer’s related brain shrinkage’.

B vitamins play an important role in metabolism. These vitamins are the oil that greases the wheels of our metabolism. The brain is metabolically very active and therefore needs a lot of B vitamins.

One can simply buy B vitamins in the supermarket or pharmacist and preferably a supplement that contains as much different B vitamins as possible (like vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12).

Author: Kris Verburgh, MD

Sources:
– Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B vitamin treatment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013
– Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly. Neurology, 2008.