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Alzheimer’s patients do not benefit from high doses of vitamin B supplements, according to research led by Dr Paul Aisen at the university of California at San Diego.
This contradicts previous research suggesting that B vitamins might slow progress of the disease by reducing levels of homocysteine, an amino acid produced in the body.
Dr Aison’s team studied the effects of high doses of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12. Mental ability was later tested using a standard measure called the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog).
The results showed that even though B vitamins reduced homocysteine levels, ADAS-cog scores did not differ significantly between treatment groups.
The authors wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Many studies suggest that relative elevation of homocysteine is characteristic of AD (Alzheimer’s disease), and laboratory research implicates homocysteine in neurodegenerative mechanisms.
“High-dose B vitamin supplementation in individuals with normal levels of B vitamins was effective in reducing homocysteine levels. However, our study does not support the treatment of individuals with mild to moderate AD and normal vitamin levels with B vitamin supplements.”
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