There are more and more studies coming out that suggest one simple vitamin can help prevent brain shrinkage and dementia. But you can't simply take this vitamin and hope that it prevents memory problems.
The studies really started coming out in 2008 in favor of vitamin B12 for keeping your brain healthy. There were some studies before that, but the train really started rolling when Oxford University released their study. And the researchers in this study showed just how short-sighted medicine can be.
The researchers in this case followed over 100 seniors for five years. None of the participants had any memory loss at the start of the study. During the study, the researchers ran the participants through a series of tests. These included cognitive and memory tests, along with physical exams. And to take it a step further, they measured their blood levels of vitamin B12 and folate.
They also did MRI brain scans on all of the participants. These scans will show plaque build-up in the brain, which can be an early sign of Parkinson's or Alzheimer's diseases.
None of the participants showed a deficiency of vitamin B12. However, those participants with the lowest blood levels of vitamin B12 (but still within the "normal" range) were six times more likely to have smaller brains than those with the highest levels. And brain shrinkage can reduce brain function and cognition.
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One of the researchers, Anna Vogiatzoglou, suggested that "simply adjusting our diets to consume more vitamin B12 through eating meat, fish, fortified cereals, or milk may be something we can easily adjust to prevent brain shrinkage…."
Unfortunately, this is where medicine can be short-sighted. Adding B12 to your diet or by taking supplements will work only if your body breaks it down and uses it. But if you're over the age of 40, it's likely your stomach doesn't have enough hydrochloric acid (HCl) for proper absorption. Our stomach production of HCl declines with age. So you can swallow all the B12 you want and it won't help much because B12 is hard to absorb through the digestive tract. That's one of the main reasons we grow deficient as we age.
Vitamin B12 is one of the biggest deficiencies people over the age of 40 suffer from on a regular basis. Just about everyone over that age needs to get more B12. But, unless you take an HCl tablet at the same time, you're likely throwing your money down the toilet. Fortunately, there are other options. One is to get regular B12 shots from your doctor. This is easy to do, but can be a bit pricey. And many people don't like to get regular shots.
An easier and less expensive option is to use sublingual vitamin B12 tablets. All you do is stick the tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve. This is a very effective way to bypass the digestive system and send the vitamin directly into your bloodstream. You can order sublingual vitamin B12 by following this link.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.
Vogiatzoglou, A., Refsum, H., Johnston, C., Smith, S. M., Bradley, K. M., de Jager, C., Budge, M. M., Smith, A. D., "Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly." Neurology 2008 71: 826-832. September 9, 2008, Volume 71, Issue 11.