Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. Found in foods like fish, meat, and dairy, it is an important part of a balanced nutritional diet. However due to our modern methods of processing foods, we may not be getting the right amount of B12 through our daily food intake. This is cause for concern as a recent observational study, conducted at Tufts University, has linked B12 levels to cognitive health in older adults.
Effects of Low B12
Researchers analyzed and tested data from 549 men and women who took part in a separate study concerning heart health, the average age of the participants was said to be 75. The subjects were divided into five groups based on their blood levels of B12. Focusing on cognitive test scores from the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) over an eight-year period, the study revealed that the two lowest B12 groups were more prone to cognitive health concerns. The study showed that cognitive effects of even mild vitamin B12 deficiency may affect a larger proportion of seniors than was previously thought. A majority of the test subjects were Caucasian women with at least a high-school level education. While a link has been established there is still the question of causation. Researchers hope to expand tests to more diverse subject groups as well as investigate whether vitamin B12 deficiencies affect any particular cognitive skills.
Keeping Up Brain and Body Health
With more and more of these types of studies being released, the need for supplementing our daily diet has never been more essential. Getting the right amount of nutrients on a daily basis through food intake alone can be difficult, which is why supplementing meals with a multivitamin can provide the optimal amount of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and other nutrients needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Balance is always the key. Eating right, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, and supplementing our diet to fulfill the body’s nutritional needs can help us all make strides in the quest for good health.
- Pederson T. Mild B12 Deficiency Linked to Cognitive Decline in Older Adults. PsychCentral. https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/12/08/mild-b12-deficiency-linked-to-cognitive-decline-in-older-adults/48854.html