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Vitamin B12, folate, lutein, and zeaxanthin aid cognition

Vitamin B12 and folate have cognitive benefits

Evidence is increasing that those over age 50 should take a vitamin B12 supplement. In this study, doctors measured nutrients and gave a battery of cognitive tests to 1,408 participants, average age 57.

Overall, those with high levels of vitamin B12 and folate had better global cognitive test scores, and those who were deficient in vitamin B12 had lower cognitive test scores. Doctors also measured methylmalonic acid (MMA), high levels of which indicated vitamin B12 deficiency.

Discussing the findings, doctors said, “More attention should be given to identification and treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency in this population.” Separately, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said low levels of vitamin B12 have a link to anemia, and recommend adults over 50 take a B12 supplement.

Reference: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2021, Vol. 113, No. 1, 179–86

Lutein, zeaxanthin reduce amyloid plaques, and slow AD progress

This study followed 927 older adults who were free of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at the start of a seven-year follow-up period. Overall, those who got the most total carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin, consumed an average 24.8 mg per day, and those who got the least consumed 6.7 mg per day.

In those who died during the study, AD development was less advanced in those who got more carotenoids. Lutein and zeaxanthin in particular were beneficial for global brain condition, and for improving AD factors including reducing plaque severity, and protein tau tangles density and severity. Overall, higher intakes of total carotenoids reduced chances of developing AD.

Reference: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2021, Vol. 113, No. 1, 200–8


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