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February 25, 2014

Studies Show that Vitamin B12 May Play a Role in Alzheimer's Care

Getting enough Vitamin B12 not only has many benefits for the average person but additionally, recent research has shown that the B12 can play an important role in Alzheimer's care. As a person ages, cognitive decline is a natural process, but there are measures a person can take to prevent or delay the onset of dementia.

Vitamin B12 is essential for helping to maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. A study completed in Scandinavia found it also may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. This could potentially be a breakthrough in science for Alzheimer's care.

The study tested the blood of 271 people aged 65 to 79 years old with no evidence of dementia. Blood levels of B12 and homocysteine were recorded. High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid, have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to lower levels of homocysteine. After following the participants for seven years, 17 of them had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Individuals with low levels of B12, and in turn high levels of homocysteine, were at greatest risk. The study also found that individuals who increased their consumption of B12 decreased their risk by two percent for every one unit increase.

Seniors are commonly deficient in B12 so a proper Alzheimer's care program should ensure that the elderly loved-one is eating a balanced diet, which will not only help delay or prevent cognitive decline but will help maintain the individual's overall health. The vitamin can be found in foods such as meat, fish, poultry and fortified cereals. Cereals and breads are now being fortified with B12 and folic acid, which has been shown to prevent memory loss. Folic acid can also be found in some fruits, dark green leafy vegetables and beans.

Whether Vitamin B12 is a sufficient method for preventing Alzheimer's disease or not is still being researched. However, many scientists believe B12 is definitely something to consider for those providing Alzheimer's care.  What is known, however, is that the combination of eating a nutritious diet, exercise, and using vitamin supplements will only help seniors mentally and physically.

Comfort Keepers®, the compassionate and professional in-home care service, provides caregivers who are highly trained in dementia and Alzheimer's care, allowing even seniors who struggle with Alzheimer's and other dementia to remain healthy and happy as they live independently in their own homes.

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