Friday, November 5, 2010

Can a Vitamin Protect Your Brain?

Strokes devastate a human being, stripping memory, personality, motor skills.

High blood levels of homocysteine are linked to negative effects on the brain, such as stroke. But now, research finds that higher levels of vitamin B12 can lower homocysteine.

So, just what is homocysteine? It's an amino acid associated with vitamin B12, and it interacts with the active portion of the vitamin, called holotranscobalamin.

In a seven-year study, researchers tested blood from 271 Finnish people (age 65 to 79, who did not have dementia at the start of the study). 17 developed Alzheimer's disease.

Each micromolar increase in the concentration of homocysteine raised the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The results were the same across the board--- age, gender, education, smoking status, blood pressure and body mass index--- B-12 had the same impact. Each picomolar increase in concentration of the active form of vitamin B12 reduced risk.

So, make sure your blood test includes vitamin deficiency panels.

Especially you vegans--- you are noted to sometimes have lower levels of B-12, despite the otherwise powerful nutritive impact of their vegan diet.

Protect your brain. It's where you live.

Take your B-12!

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