Older individuals who would like to lower their risk of some age-associated neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimers, may want to take stock of their vitamin B intake.
A new study has found that high levels of vitamins B6, B12 and folate may help protect the brain and the mind from premature decline.
In the study, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco analyzed blood samples from 1,800 elderly men and women, ranging in age from 60 to 101 years. They tested these samples for B vitamin levels and evaluated the participants mental acuity. The researchers concluded that individuals with the highest concentration of these vitamins particularly folate received the best scores on tests of cognitive ability.
There was an added bonus for elderly women from having high levels of vitamins B. According to Lindsay H. Allen, a nutritionist with U.S. Department of Agriculture, these individuals had a lower risk of mood disorders, including depression.
In addition to supplements, B vitamin can be found in abundance in meats such as liver, turkey and tuna as well as bananas, lentils, potatoes and whole grains.