On those days when your mind feels a little like it’s turning to mush, most people will say that any cognitive decline is just part of aging.
They’ll insist that you’re lucky there’s anything left at all past a certain age. It’s only going to get worse from here, you’re told.
Well, my friend, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. That might be the case for some other people, but it doesn’t have to be true for you.
New research reveals a secret weapon in the battle against brain aging. And it’s one that can enhance your brain, boost your memory, and protect you from cognitive decline.
Here’s the most crucial part…
This isn’t just effective in healthy people who haven’t started that mental slide yet. In fact, it works best in those who need help the most.
It could even help restore both memory and cognition in folks who are already experiencing some decline.
Humble vitamins battle cognitive decline
B vitamins have long been linked to brain health. In fact, if you’re a regular reader, you no doubt have seen me sing their mind-protecting praises before.
The drug industry has even been quietly testing a blend of Bs as a potential “drug” for cognitive decline. So far, that hasn’t really gone anywhere. Probably because of the difficulty of creating patented versions of natural vitamins.
But you can bet Big Pharma will keep trying, especially now that yet another study finds some pretty potent B vitamin benefits. The new research confirms that Bs are still one of the most promising options for folks struggling with cognitive decline or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
In the new study, volunteers battling MCI were given either a blend of B vitamins or a placebo. And the lucky folks who got the B blend had remarkable results in two key areas.
They had less brain “shrinkage.” And while all brains do shrink a little with age, more shrink usually means more struggles with cognitive decline and even dementia. Plus, they had better scores on the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, a key cognitive test.
B vitamins likely work on several levels.
- First, B12 is critical for the proper functioning of neurons in the brain.
- Second, it can slash homocysteine levels, a key marker of inflammation linked to major chronic diseases, including dementia.
- And third, other studies have found B vitamins can slow the “wasting” in the brain linked to cognitive decline. Plus, they can improve overall cognition or slow the rate of decline.
There is one thing to watch for, however.
The one “catch” in the study
If you’re still taking daily aspirin, you probably won’t get much of a brain benefit from the B vitamins. Aspirin can block the enzyme in the liver that processes folate.
That means the folic acid won’t be metabolized and can’t get to work with the other B vitamins. In the study, aspirin users who took the B vitamins had no improvements in cognition.
The B blend tested in the new study included vitamin B12 and folic acid. Some folks were also given B6. But the B6 didn’t appear to matter much. The results were the same either way.
For even more on B vitamin’s link to better brain health see my earlier report, How to STOP dementia now BEFORE it starts.
B vitamins are safe and affordable. If you aren’t already taking a B complex and you’re concerned about your brain health, ask your doctor if a supplement is right for you.