Scientists are just starting to understand some of the ways we can all prevent losing our cognitive functions as we age up. Of course, the usual mental exercises such as doing crossword puzzles are known to help with keeping your mind sharp for much longer in your later years.
However, a new study suggests that your diet plays a massive role in reducing the risks of developing Alzheimer’s as well!
More precisely, a diet rich in vitamin B12 is what you need to keep this scary disease at bay.
The researchers involved in this study observed how worms called C. elegans reacted to a protein associated with the neurologic disorder known as amyloid beta.
It’s important to know that in the case of these small worms, when they have Alzheimer’s, they become paralyzed.
But feeding them vitamin B12 changed how they reacted to the amyloid beta protein, taking much longer for the paralysis to take place in those cases.
In other words, the study suggests that vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in fighting off Alzheimer’s disease in humans as well.
However, it’s also important to understand that this discovery is not exactly revolutionary.
Jessica Tanis, the study’s lead author, explained during an interview for Eat This, Not That! that “I’m worried that people will think that eating a B12 rich diet will delay cognitive decline in all individuals. Subclinical B12 deficiency affects 10-15% of individuals over the age of 60 and these are the individuals who could potentially benefit from an increase in dietary B12 intake.”
Furthermore, geriatrician and neuroscientist Malaz A. Boustani, MD and a Professor of Aging Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine named Richard M. Fairbanks stress that you should ask your doctor for a “full work-up” if you are experiencing memory issues, and this includes a B12 vitamin deficiency test.
In the meantime, you can definitely also make some much-needed dietary changes in order to avoid developing the disease as much as possible, starting right now!
First of all, it’s absolutely recommended you reduce your intake of added sugars!
Board certified neurologist, and New York Times bestselling author, David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, states that: “There is an ever-growing body of high-quality research that demonstrates how fundamental dietary choices are in terms of charting the brain’s destiny, even as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease. Diets that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars threaten metabolism, especially as it relates to developing elevation of blood sugar [levels]. This represents a powerful threat to brain health and has been directly associated with increased Alzheimer’s risk.”
The conclusion is that there is a need for more research into how much vitamin B12 can help postpone or avoid Alzheimer’s disease.
Regardless of this, if you do have a B12 deficiency, adding this vitamin into your diet more can really help with your health in general.
And the most you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease at this point is to follow a nutritious diet filled with anti-inflammatory foods such as vegetables and fruits and non-processed, low in added sugars food.