Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

B vitamins and the aging brain examined

Date:
August 18, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Nutritionist are taking a closer look at the role the B vitamins may play in preventing decline in brain function.

B vitamins-B-6, B-12 and folate-all nourish the brain. But much remains to be discovered about the relation between these essential nutrients and our brainpower.

Related Articles


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutritionist Lindsay H. Allen has collaborated in ongoing research that has taken a closer look at the role these nutrients may play in preventing decline in brain function. The investigations, led by Mary N. Haan of the University of California-San Francisco, are part of the multiyear Sacramento (Calif.) Area Latino Study on Aging, or "SALSA." Begun in 1996, the study attracted nearly 1,800 Hispanic seniors, ages 60 to 101, as volunteers.

According to Allen, the research is needed because many studies of B vitamins and brain function have given inconsistent or conflicting results. Allen is director of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, Calif. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA. Scientists from the University of California-Davis (UCD) and the UCD Medical Center also are collaborating in the research.

An analysis of volunteers' blood samples showed that lower levels of one B vitamin, folate, were associated with symptoms of dementia and poor brain function, also called "cognitive decline," as determined by standard tests of memory and other factors. The impairments were detectable even though less than 1 percent of the volunteers were actually deficient in folate.

In women, but not men, low levels of folate were associated with symptoms of depression. In fact, female volunteers whose plasma folate levels were in the lowest third were more than twice as likely to have symptoms of depression as volunteers in the highest third. That finding provided new evidence of an association between lower blood folate and depression. Depression is already known to affect brain function.

In research with vitamin B-12, the SALSA team determined that a protein known as holoTC, short for holotranscobalamin, might be key to a new approach for detecting cognitive decline earlier and more accurately.

The researchers have published these and other findings, beginning in 2003 and continuing through this year, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The Journal of Nutrition, and The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Marcia Wood. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "B vitamins and the aging brain examined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817134302.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, August 18). B vitamins and the aging brain examined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817134302.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "B vitamins and the aging brain examined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817134302.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins