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Vitamin B Supplements Offer No Hope For Preventing Alzheimer’s

July 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
It seemed logical enough. People with Alzheimer’s disease have high levels of a compound called homocysteine in their blood. Vitamin B-12 and folic acid lower plasma levels of the compound. So vitamin B supplements should help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Not so, according to a new study by a team of European researchers who looked at clinical trial data on 22,000 people. In the studies, those who received B vitamins did indeed experience an average 25 percent reduction in homocysteine levels, but that had no effect on cognitive decline or mental abilities. Said one researcher: “Taking folic acid and vitamin B-12 is sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer's disease.”
R. Clarke et al., "Effects of homocysteine lowering with B vitamins on cognitive aging: meta-analysis of 11 trials with cognitive data on 22,000 individuals. ", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 15, 2014, © American Society for Nutrition
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