A number of studies have investigated the impact of vitamin supplementation to prevent and/or treat cognitive dysfunction and decline. When certain B vitamins are combined with omega-3 oils, improved brain functions and helping slow or stop dementia in many people, and reduced brain atrophy. A two year study done in Korea saw significant reductions in loss of brain functions and improvement in depression from the combination of high doses of vitamins B6, B9 (folate) and B12 along with oils rich in omega-3 components. There have been multiple studies that compared results of use of these B vitamins with omega-3 oils versus placebo. MRI scans of brain tissue showed reduction in brain atrophy in the specific regions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
As people age, there is a buildup of homocysteine in the blood. High homocysteine levels have been identified specifically with brain atrophy. The B vitamin – omega-3 oil combination has proven to convert homocysteine into methionine, which is a building block for healthy protein formation. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July 2015 had the following conclusions.
There was a significant interaction between B vitamin treatment and plasma combined omega-3 fatty acids on brain atrophy rates. In subjects with high baseline omega-3 fatty acids (>590 μmol/L), B vitamin treatment slowed the mean atrophy rate by 40 percent compared with placebo.
Besides diet, stress management such as meditation, vigorous exercise and active utilization of cognitive brain functions are all shown to improve brain health and maintain higher brain functions. While dementia is often age related, those that follow a healthy regimen often maintain brain health 20 or more years beyond normal experiences. Striving for longevity makes more sense when your mind is functioning well.