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Can B Vitamins Prevent Dementia?

According to a new study conducted by University of Oxford researchers, B vitamins may prevent the onset of dementia.

The study was published in the September 2010 issue of the Public Library of Science One.

The researchers randomly assigned 168 participants to receive B vitamin supplementation or a placebo over the course of 2 years. During that time the participants were given periodic MRI's in order to determine rates of brain shrinkage.

Brain shrinkage, also known as atrophy, is a symptom of mild cognitive decline and an early warning sign for dementia.

The researchers found that participants who took vitamin B supplements had on average 30% less brain shrinkage and some patients even showed more than a 50% reduction.

The researchers noted that although further trials are necessary, these findings show that people with mild cognitive impairment may be able to prolong or even prevent the onset of dementia by taking B vitamins.

Taking a vitamin B supplement can provide additional potential benefits. Vitamin B plays an important role in many essential functions in the human body ranging from nervous system function to red blood cell formation.

While a supplement is a good way to get your B vitamins, they are also present in various foods including broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, tuna and salmon. You can also buy milk and flour products that are fortified with B vitamins.

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