B Vitamins May Not Protect Against Cognitive Decline in Elderly Women
The Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study is a large trial designed to study the benefits of B vitamins and folic acid against heart disease. Researchers from Channing Laboratory used information from this study as a basis to also study cognitive decline in women. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , found that B vitamin supplementation did not delay cognitive impairment.
About the Study
The Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study is a
- General cognition—thought process
- Verbal memory—memory of spoken words
- Category fluency—a memory test that also involves placing words into categories
The results did not show a significant difference in cognitive decline between the women taking supplements and the women taking a placebo.
Some evidence, however, suggested that women who had low dietary vitamin B may have had some protection against cognitive decline with the supplement.
How Does This Affect You?
Further study will need to be done to determine the exact benefit of supplementation in a low vitamin B diet. Vitamin supplements can be expensive. Ask your doctor if you should take them.
Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, including healthy blood vessels, can help prevent or delay some cognitive decline. Maintaining a healthy system includes a diet
American Dietetic Association
Kang JH, Cook N, Manson J, Burimng JE, Albert CM, Grodstein F. A trial of B vitamins and cognitive function among women at high risk of cardiovascular disease. AM J Clin Nutrition. 2008 Dec;88(6):1602-1610.
Last reviewed March 2009 by
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