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Published on December 31, 2021

Video Friday: Studies suggest getting enough B vitamins can help prevent brain atrophy, dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease, especially among those with high homocysteine levels

Key Points

  • Certain nutrients can have a protective role on brain health and cognition, and can help decrease brain atrophy, the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and other forms of dementia
  • A high homocysteine level can cause brain damage, and is a strong risk factor for the development of dementia and AD; lowering homocysteine with B vitamin supplementation may slow the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in people with mild cognitive impairment
  • Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium are other nutrients essential to the brain and to cognitive health and well-being

Brain shrinkage is a normal part of aging, however, it is accelerated among those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s Diseases. More than 6.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, and that number is projected to surpass 13.8 million by the year 2060.

There is much research showing that certain nutrients can have a protective role on brain health and cognition, and can help decrease brain atrophy, the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and other forms of dementia.  The video featured today, presented by NutritionFacts.org, reviews several studies that have shown a connection between B vitamin intake, dementia, AD, brain atrophy, and homocysteine levels.

Watch the Video

After watching the video, be sure to make note of our added details below.

Summary: B Vitamins and the Brain

An estimated 1 in 5 of US adults will end up with cognitive impairment by the age of 71, with about 12% progressing to dementia

Homocysteine is an amino acid created from the breakdown of certain proteins

B vitamins (especially folate and vitamins B12 and B6) are necessary for the body to break down and utilize homocysteine

A high homocysteine level is often seen among individuals with B vitamin deficiencies, as well as people with kidney disease, low levels of thyroid hormones, psoriasis, and with certain medications (such as antiepileptic drugs and methotrexate)

A high homocysteine level can cause brain damage, and is a strong risk factor for the development of dementia and AD; 1 in 6 cases of AD may be due to elevated homocysteine

Studies showed that lowering homocysteine with B vitamin supplementation slowed the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in people with mild cognitive impairment; the beneficial effect of B vitamin supplementation was greatest among those with high homocysteine

Methionine, a protein found in meat, is converted into homocysteine; decreasing animal protein in the diet may help lower homocysteine levels

High plant based diets (naturally high in some B vitamins and fiber) supplemented with vitamin B12 may help lower homocysteine levels among some

Vegans are highly susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as a deficiency of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin D, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and the trace elements iron, iodine, zinc and selenium

Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium are other nutrients essential to the brain and to cognitive health and well-being

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D, Magnesium, Omega-3s, and Other Brain Boosting Nutrients?

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which to measure, such as your vitamin D, omega-3s, and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.

Enroll and test your levels today, learn what steps to take to improve your status of vitamin D (see below) and other nutrients and blood markers, and take action! By enrolling in the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to everyone, you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.

NEWS ALERT

The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!