There all along
B vitamins play a key role in protecting against cognitive decline
As I’ve said before, medical science is full of surprises. But the funny thing is, many of them aren’t really all that surprising when you really stop to think about them. Take the recent findings on the well-known trio of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid. This nutrient combo is typically recognized for the role it plays in keeping your cardiovascular system operating at peak performance. But a new study from Tufts University shows that it may also be a major factor in protecting you from cognitive decline.
On the surface, it does sound like a revolutionary discovery. If you backtrack just a bit, though, you’ll see what I mean when I say that this “new” brain-protection has been staring us in the face all along.
You see, one of the ways these B vitamins boost heart health is by keeping blood flowing smoothly through your arteries, blood vessels, and capillaries. But those arteries, blood vessels, and capillaries aren’t just surrounding the heart: They weave an intricate web throughout your entire body — including your brain. And, just like your heart, if your brain isn’t being “fed” with all of the oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood it needs, its health will suffer.
But back to the specifics of the Tufts study. Researchers found that mice fed a diet that was deficient in vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid “demonstrated significant deficits in spatial learning and memory compared with normal mice.” And these deficits didn’t take long to emerge: The study lasted a grand total of 10 weeks. So you can imagine the precarious situation your brain would be in after years of B-vitamin deficiency.
Rather than taking a chance with your heart or brain health, consider upping your intake of these crucial nutrients ASAP. Dr. Wright recommends taking a good quality “B- complex 50” or “B-complex 100” supplement (which also includes the other important members of the “B” family) each day.
“B-vitamin deficiency may cause vascular cognitive impairment,” ScienceDaily (www.sciencedaily.com), 9/2/08