Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vitamin B12 May Keep Your Brain From Shrinking

The University of Oxford released the results of a study back in September of 2008, that showed that Vitamin B12 may help keep your brain from shrinking in old age.

None of the people in the study had vitamin B12 deficiency. However, the study showed that people with the highest levels of B12 in there blood were 6 times less likely to experience brain shrinkage compared to people with low levels of B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is rare, but some of the symptoms are:

  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Sore tongue or bleeding gums
  • Loss of weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
  • Poor sense of balance
  • Depression
  • Dementia

Good food sources are mollusks, and organs (especially liver and kidneys) of lamb and beef. For a list of foods with the highest levels of B12 click NutitionData. Milk, cheese and eggs are also good sources of B12. If you are a vegan, eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, and take vitamin pills.

Another benefits of B12 in conjunction with folic acid and B6, is that these vitamins keep homocystein from building up in your bloodstream. High levels of homocystein can lead to a higher risks of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.