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The Vitamin Deficiency That Triples Dementia Risk


“A folate deficiency is linked to a tripling in the chance of developing dementia in older people, research finds.”


With more than 55 million people worldwide now living with dementia, and nearly 10 million new cases occurring every year, finding effective and safe ways to maintain brain health is becoming an increasingly challenging global health problem. Currently approved pharmaceutical drugs for dementia neither cure nor halt cognitive decline; at best they simply delay the worsening cognitive impairment.

Taking a different approach, a review published in 2021 examines the effects of 21 different nutrients and phytonutrients on cognitive function. Promisingly, the researchers found particularly noteworthy benefits to memory, attention, intelligence, vocabulary, creative thinking, reaction time, comprehension, learning, and other critical measures of cognition.

Published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Research by researchers from the United States, the review examines a total of 96 separate scientific articles. The nutrients and phytonutrients analyzed in these papers include alpha-lipoic acid; B vitamins; cholinergic precursors such as choline, lecithin, and phosphatidylserine; vitamin D; vitamin E; N-acetyl cysteine; omega-3 fatty acids; rosemary; saffron; curcumin; zinc; and others.

The researchers conclude that many of these natural substances may be promising for treating cognitive impairment, especially in people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Based on this finding, they advise that healthy adults and patients exhibiting cognitive defects would be best served to consider multiple nutrients and phytonutrients to improve aspects of their cognitive function.

To read about the growing evidence that B vitamins prevent dementia, see this article on our website.