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Study Says B Vitamins May Delay Onset Of Alzheimer's

Thu, 09 Sep 2010 18:46:3

Windsor Genova - AHN News News Writer

London, United Kingdom (AHN) - British researchers have found that Vitamin B slowed down the shrinking of the brain, a sign of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers called Oxford Project to investigate Memory and Ageing (Optima) made the findings after testing 168 elderly people experiencing mild mental impairment. Optima gave half of the seniors Vitamin B, B6 and B12 tablets daily while the other half were given a placebo for two years. The sizes of their brains were then measured at the end of the experiment.

After the age of 60, the brain shrinks by about 0.5 percent each year. The brains of those with mild cognitive impairment shrink twice as fast while those with Alzheimer's lose 2.5 percent of their brain each year.

In the experiment, however, those taking Vitamin B slowed down their brain shrinkage of volunteers by 30 percent.

High levels of the substance called homocysteine in the blood have been linked to faster brain shrinkage and Alzheimer's disease. The researchers believe the B vitamins minimized the level of homocysteine in the blood.

The findings of the Optima researchers were published in the journal Public Library of Science One with Prof. David Smith as the lead author. The researchers are planning an expanded experiment to confirm their findings.

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