Navigation Links
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain

Deficiency led to more brain shrinkage, study shows

MONDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Older individuals with low levels of vitamin B12 seem to be at increased risk of having brain atrophy or shrinkage, new research suggests.

Brain atrophy is associated with Alzheimer's disease and impaired cognitive function.

Although the study, published in the Sept. 8 issue of Neurology, can't confirm that lower levels of B12 actually cause brain atrophy, they do suggest that "we ought to be more aware of our B12 status, especially people who are vulnerable to B12 deficiency [elderly, vegetarians, pregnant and lactating women, infants], and take steps to maintain it by eating a balanced and varied diet," said study co-author Anna Vogiatzoglou, a registered dietician and doctoral candidate in the department of physiology, anatomy and genetics at the University of Oxford, in England.

"It's worth looking at B12 levels. It's a simple blood test," affirmed Dr. Shari Midoneck, an internist at the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center in New York City. "It doesn't hurt to take B12."

Good sources of the vitamin include meat, fish, milk and fortified cereals.

According to the study authors, vitamin B12 deficiency is a public health problem, especially among older people.

This study involved 107 volunteers aged 61 to 87 who were cognitively normal at the beginning of the study. All participants underwent annual clinical exams, MRI scans and cognitive tests and had blood samples taken.

Individuals with lower vitamin B12 levels at the start of the study had a greater decrease in brain volume. Those with the lowest B12 levels had a sixfold greater rate of brain volume loss compared with those who had the highest levels of the vitamin.

Interestingly, none of the participants were deficient in vitamin B12, they just had low levels within a normal range.

"They all had normal B12 levels, yet there was a difference between the higher levels and the lower levels in terms of brain shrinkage, which is new information which could potentially change what we recommend to people in terms of diet," said Dr. Jonathan Friedman, an associate professor of surgery and neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and associate dean of the College of Medicine, Bryan-College Station campus.

Other risk factors for brain atrophy include high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Not only might B12 levels be a modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline, it might also be a clue to help clinicians assess cognitive problems earlier on.

Right now, it's not clear what the biological mechanisms behind the link might be, nor is it clear whether added B12 would avert brain atrophy.

"We are doing a clinical trial in Oxford in which we are giving B vitamins [including B12] to elderly people with memory impairment," Vogiatzoglou said. "In this trial, we are doing MRI scans at the start and the end, and so, we will be able to find out if taking B vitamins really does slow down the shrinking of the brain. The trial will be completed in 2009."

More information

Learn more about vitamin B-12 at the National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Anna Vogiatzoglou, R.D., doctoral candidate, department of physiology, anatomy and genetics, University of Oxford, England; Jonathan Friedman, M.D., associate professor, surgery and neuroscience and experimental therapeutics, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and associate dean, College of Medicine, Bryan-College Station campus, and director, Texas Brain and Spine Institute, College Station; Shari Midoneck, M.D., associate clinical professor, medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, and internist, Iris Cantor Women's Health Center, New York City; Sept. 8, 2008, Neurology

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Genetic variants associated with vitamin B12
2. Vitamin B, Folate Supplements Wont Help Heart
3. New Vitamin Targets Needs of Nurses
4. Low Vitamin D Raises Womens Hip Fracture Risk
5. Lack of Vitamin D Boosts Death Risk
6. Vitamin C injections slow tumor growth in mice
7. Vitalize(TM) Receives Top Multivitamin Rating
8. July 2008 Mayo Clinic Womens HealthSource Highlights Vitamin D, Savvy Use of Sunscreen and Gastrointestinal Upset and Celiac Disease
9. Moms Vitamin D Levels Affect Babys Dental Health
10. Mothers vitamin D status during pregnancy will affect her babys dental health
11. Photo: Sees Internet Sales Up 40% in Major Metro Markets as Gas Crisis Looms; Shopping Behaviors Change as People Conserve Gas
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Colon as a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year ... is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The National ... 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized ... networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members and over 200 operating ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Live Very Well is ... insurance plans on . The multi-carrier insurance exchange platform offers individual ... allowing consumers to compare, quote and match plans to meet their needs. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Until now, ... criteria set forth in the MOMS (Management of Myelomeningocele Study) trial. One of these ... Control and Prevention), a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, 25 - ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Stress, anxiety, illness, infection or even a need for eyeglasses ... Heather Spader, MD, a new pediatric neurosurgeon at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, ... tumors. , “Bad headaches that don’t go away, that don’t have any ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015   Royal Philips ... ScanWise Implant, the industry,s first MRI guided user interface ... scanning of patients with MR Conditional implants, such as ... the 2015 Radiological Society of North America Annual ... exams and supports diagnostic confidence of this growing patient ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 Baxalta Incorporated ... leader dedicated to delivering transformative therapies to ... conditions, today announced the launch and first ... an extended circulating half-life recombinant factor VIII ... full-length ADVATE [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant)]. The treatment ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PUNE, India , November 30, 2015 ... new market research report "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft ... Treatment, Periodontitis), End User (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global ... USD 224.7 Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% ... , Browse 140 market data Tables and 62 Figures spread ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: