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10.09.2021


High omega-3 levels? B vitamins protect your brain from aging

Supplementation with B vitamins may help keep the brains of people over seventy healthy. But then they must get enough omega-3 fatty acids.

Study
The researchers used data from 266 people over the age of seventy, all of whom had mild cognitive impairment and participated in the British Vitacog trial between 2004 and 2009. In this study, half of the subjects were given a placebo every day for two years, and the other half a daily supplement containing 800 micrograms of folic acid [perhaps a bit much - ed.], 500 micrograms of vitamin B12 and 3 milligrams of vitamin B6.

Before and after the supplementation period, the researchers measured cognitive abilities using the Hopkins verbal learning test (for verbal episodic memory) with delayed recall [HVLT-DR] and the telephone inventory for cognitive status-modified [TICS-M] .

In the first test, researchers read out words and then see if subjects can remember them. The second test is a series of questions that allow researchers to get a rough idea of the subject's cognitive ability.

Results
Before the supplementation period started, the cognitive scores of both groups did not differ significantly from each other. But when the supplementation period ended, the differences had become significant. That is, if the researchers grouped the subjects into 3 equally sized groups or tertiles on the basis of the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.

In the group with an upper normal range of EPA and especially DHA in the blood, supplementation with vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin B12 improved the cognition scores.

Click on the figures below for more information.


High omega-3 levels? B vitamins protect your brain from aging

High omega-3 levels? B vitamins protect your brain from aging


Mechanism
The researchers theorize that supplementing with B vitamins makes it easier for the body to convert homocysteine [Hcy] into methionine, and as a result can produce more S-adenosylmethionine [SAM].

More S-adenosylmethionine subsequently results in more phospatidylcholine, a building block of, among other things, brain cells. In brain cells you will find a lot of phosphatidylcholine with DHA.


High omega-3 levels? B vitamins protect your brain from aging


Source:
J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(2):547-57.

More:
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A healthy diet keeps the brain young for longer 08.07.2021
Cinnamon protects short-term memory 16.05.2021

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Omega-3 fatty acids protect the cognitive abilities of over 60s
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Elderly fish eaters have better brains
The amount of grey matter in your brain - the bit of the brain where the real work happens - decreases as you age.

Vitamin B6 helps over 60s stay mentally fit
Copious intake of vitamin B6 can considerably reduce the chance of cognitive decline in the over 60s.