Dementia: A Study On B Vitamins Slammed

Dementia: A Study On B Vitamins Slammed

Medical experts are concerned that patients who are in the earliest stages of dementia could miss out on the potentially effective treatment of taking B12 and folic acidB12 Dementia MS

The experts have criticized the Oxford researchers for their resulting conclusion that ‘Taking folic acid and vitamin B12 is sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.’ The original article can be found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. [1] [2]

The researchers, who claimed that B vitamins were ‘sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer’s disease’, have been strongly criticised.

Bad science may have prevented people with early-stage dementia from getting effective treatment.  The B vitamins, slow the progress of dementia and Alzheimer’s but a flawed study last year claimed they don’t work.  As a result, patients may have missed out on an effective treatment, say researchers from the University of London and Oxford University.

The original study, published last year, was ‘inaccurate and misleading’, and may have influenced health policy decisions, and had a negative impact on patient welfare.

Dr Peter Garrard, of the Cardiovascular and Cell Sciences Research Institute at St George’s, University of London, said that the analysis of previous clinical trial data published last year cast no doubt whatsoever on the potential of folic acid and vitamin B12 to prevent dementia. He said that the lead author’s comments were ‘unjustified and misleading’.

Dr Garrard said that taking B vitamins lowers blood levels of homocysteine, which in high concentrations is a potent risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. He highlighted the ‘first-rate scientific evidence that the use of B vitamins confers both biological and neuropsychological benefits’ on individuals aged over 70 who had noticed a recent decline in their cognitive abilities.

He emphasised the urgent need for a definitive trial to establish whether this simple and safe treatment can slow cognitive deterioration in a similar group of people, as such individuals are known to have a heightened risk of developing full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. [3]

Flaws in the study

Both Dr Garrard and Professor David Smith sent separate letters to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, of the University of Oxford. They pointed out a number of flaws in the original conclusion, including:

1) reliance on data from trials of vascular disease prevention rather than dementia;

2) the use of the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), which is designed to detect dementia but is unsuitable for assessing small changes in cognitively normal people; and

3) the absence of any cognitive decline in untreated patients, rendering the whole study irrelevant to the question of clinical benefits in cognitive impairment or dementia. [2]

Commentaries are published in the February 2015 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

From my own point of view, the B vitamins have always helped memory loss caused through stress, anxiety or depression. I personally think that vitamin B12 can help normal age-related forgetfulness, but perhaps that’s the difference. Normal age-related forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s disease are two totally different forms of memory impairment. Here is an excerpt from another site, pointing out the connection between memory  loss and vitamin B12:

Vitamin B-12 deficiency: Vitamin B-12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. A vitamin B-12 deficiency — common in older adults — can cause memory problems. [4]

Sources for this article:

write a comment


    May 22, 09:26 #1

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the site is really good.

    May 09, 22:33 #2

    This info is worth everyone’s attention. How can I find out more?

  3. Super CBD
    April 26, 16:51 #3 Super CBD

    I love it when people get together and share ideas. Great site, continue the good work!

Add a Comment

Tell us what you think