Just pop a B12 and folic acid supplement and you get the brain of an elephant. A huge study says there’s nothing much to that claim.
B12, Folic Acid Vs. Homocysteine
The whole idea behind B12 and folic acid improving brain function goes back to a link between these two and the amino acid homocysteine.
Previous research found that high levels of homocysteine make the risk of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease worse.
B12 and folic acid, however, lower your homocysteine level. The obvious solution was that supplementing them should limit your risk of forgetting who you are and where you left the darned car keys. Or where the car actually is.
But Does It Really Work?
Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands recruited 2,919 people with an average age of 74 who all had a high homocysteine level.
For two years one half of them got a tablet with 400 mcg folic acid and 500 mcg vitamin B12, the others received a placebo. At the beginning and at the end all had to do memory and thinking skills tests.
The people who received the vitamins lowered their homocysteine level, as was expected. But unfortunately there were no real differences in cognitive skills between the two groups.
If you want to keep your brain healthy, just do a bit of running. It improves heart and brain health.
Picture courtesy of “GreenFlames09“.