Alzheimer's is a devastating disease, one that researchers are tirelessly trying to find a cure. Along the way, fortunately, they're discovering what may be even better: ways to help prevent the disease in the first place. They've already found several natural nutrients, such as curcumin, resveratrol, and vitamin D3, that help improve and protect cognitive function. But recent findings about another natural vitamin are even more exciting.
Alzheimer's disease is a double whammy against your brain. First, it involves a reduction in brain volume, or "shrinkage." Then it combines with amyloid protein tangles that interfere with the brain's signaling pathways and keep neurons from communicating effectively. Many nutrients help combat shrinkage and the development of these proteins to help protect the brain, but a recent study found that high levels of B vitamins do this particularly well. This study, conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford, identified a B-vitamin treatment that helps defend essential brain regions from dangerous reduction.
Researchers already know that people with high levels of the protein amino acid homocysteine are at a higher risk of depression, dementia, and even cardiovascular disease. It's much more common in people who don't eat a lot of vegetables and fruit. If you don't eat enough of these, you're probably low in the B vitamins folic acid and B12. So these researchers attempted to identify a relationship between levels of these vitamins and homocysteine levels.
To determine the correlation, if any, the researchers identified a group of 156 elderly participants, all of whom showed signs of mild cognitive impairment. For two years, half the participants took vitamin B12, B6, and folic acid. The other half simply took a placebo. At the end of the treatment, the group taking the placebo experienced much more brain shrinkage than the B-vitamin group. In fact, they found that when participants had high homocysteine levels, they experienced brain shrinkage eight times more slowly when taking a B vitamin than when taking a placebo. Clearly, there's a strong suggestion that the B vitamins had a significant impact.
One of the most exciting things about this study is it's the first treatment researchers have identified that seems to significantly slow the progress of the disease naturally. There are no dangerous pharmaceuticals or side effects involved. This is great news and all the more reason for people to get screened early to determine their homocysteine levels. Anyone with levels above 10 mcmol/L can likely see significant benefit from taking B6, B12, and folic acid.
And even if your levels aren't that high, you can still benefit from taking a high-potency B-vitamin complex. It will not only help protect your brain, but also will help you ward off cardiovascular disease.
If you're already taking Healthy Resolve, you're already getting a healthy dose of each of these. If you feel like you need more, you can add a B-complex supplement as well. Taking these with Advanced Memory Formula can go a long way toward preventing and even treating mild cognitive impairment.
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Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.