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Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder correlated with major reductions of neurons to the respective target areas through destruction of brain cells, causing cognitive modalities severe enough to affect language communication, memory, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer's gets worse over time, and it is fatal. According to statistic, over 25 million people in the world today are affected by dementia and most are suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
The B Vitamin are a group of water-soluble vitamins found abundantly in whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans, nutritional yeast, brewer's yeast, molasses, etc. The vitamins are essential for normal cellular growth and function and best known for converting energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates during metabolism.
1. B vitamins and elevated plasma homocysteine
Hyperhomocysteinemia is one of the risk factors of AD.(1). B vitamins showed to slow the atrophy of specific brain regions which contribute to cognitive decline and influenced the progression of Alzheimer's' disease, through lowering elevated plasma homocysteine, according to the University of Oxford(2). A ingle-center, randomized, double-blind controlled trial of high-dose folic acid, vitamins B(6) and B(12) in 271 individuals (of 646 screened) over 70 y old with mild cognitive impairment confirmed that the homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins through inhibition of accelerated brain atrophy in prevention of mild cognitive impairment conversion to Alzheimer's disease.(3)(4). Raising plasma total homocysteine may be a strong prognostic marker of future cognitive decline, by targeting the low-normal concentrations of the B vitamins in lowering the levels of elevated of homocysteine concentrations, but large-scale randomized trials of homocysteine-lowering vitamins are necessary to validate these effectiveness(5).
2. The conflict results
Epidemiological studies, linking dietary supplementation of B vitamin in reduced risk of Alzheimers' diseases have been inconclusive. According to the study at the School of Medicine, Qingdao University, dietary supplementation of antioxidants, including B vitamins, are beneficial to AD(6). Other study suggest that a formula of shilajit with B complex vitamins, may emerge as novel nutraceutical with potential uses against this brain disorder(7). Some researchers suggested that nutritional compositions, including B vitamins to stimulate synapse formation (between neurons in the nervous system) effectively reduce Alzheimer Disease neuropathology. These preclinical models provides a solid basis to predict potential to modify the disease process, especially during the early phases of Alzheimer Disease(8).
On the other hand, the study by University of California in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial, indicated that high-dose B vitamin supplements does not slow cognitive decline in individuals with mild to moderate AD and In 89 patients (45 men, 44 women; all Taiwanese; mean [SD] age, 75 [7.3] years) randomized study, no statistically significant beneficial effects on cognition or change in performance of activities of daily living (ADLs) function between multivitamin and placebo at 26 weeks(8).
Taking altogether, B vitamins may be effective in reduced levels of Hyperhomocysteinemia of which indicated an early onset of Alzheimers' disease. Combination use of B vitamins and other micronutrients and antioxidants may be associated in reduced risk and treatment of the disease. As always, All articles written by Kyle J. Norton are for information & education only, please consult your Doctor & Related field specialist before applying.
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(1) [The clinical studies of hyperhomocysteinemia and Alzheimer's disease].[Article in Chinese]by Li YL1, Hou Y, Niu C, Yu LX, Cheng YY, Hong Y.(PubMed)
(2) Preventing Alzheimer's disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment by Douaud G1, Refsum H, de Jager CA, Jacoby R, Nichols TE, Smith SM, Smith AD(PubMed)
(3) Homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins slows the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial by Smith AD1, Smith SM, de Jager CA, Whitbread P, Johnston C, Agacinski G, Oulhaj A, Bradley KM, Jacoby R, Refsum H(PubMed)
(4) Preventing Alzheimer's disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment by Douaud G1, Refsum H, de Jager CA, Jacoby R, Nichols TE, Smith SM, Smith AD.(PubMed)
(5) The worldwide challenge of the dementias: a role for B vitamins and homocysteine? by Smith AD.(PubMed)
(6) Nutrition and the risk of Alzheimer's disease by Hu N1, Yu JT, Tan L, Wang YL, Sun L, Tan L.(PubMed)
(7) Can nutraceuticals prevent Alzheimer's disease? Potential therapeutic role of a formulation containing shilajit and complex B vitamins by Carrasco-Gallardo C1, Farías GA, Fuentes P, Crespo F, Maccioni RB.(PubMed)
(8) The potential role of nutritional components in the management of Alzheimer's Disease by van der Beek EM1, Kamphuis PJ.(PubMed)
(9) High-dose B vitamin supplementation and cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease: a randomized controlled trial by Aisen PS1, Schneider LS, Sano M, Diaz-Arrastia R, van Dyck CH, Weiner MF, Bottiglieri T, Jin S, Stokes KT, Thomas RG, Thal LJ; Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study(PubMed)
(10) Efficacy of multivitamin supplementation containing vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid as adjunctive treatment with a cholinesterase inhibitor in Alzheimer's disease: a 26-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Taiwanese patients by Sun Y1, Lu CJ, Chien KL, Chen ST, Chen RC.(PubMed)