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Traffic-Related Air Pollution Linked to Signs of Alzheimer’s in Brain


The brains of people with higher exposure to traffic-related air pollution are more likely to have high amounts of the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.

[Image source: Adobe Stock]


Research from the United States has found that high-dose B vitamins may “completely offset” the damage caused by the most dangerous type of air pollution. Published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal, the researchers showed that exposure to fine particulate matter of the type produced by burning fossil fuels in motor vehicles can be mitigated by a daily supplement of B vitamins.

The study followed 10 volunteers aged between 18 and 60 years old who were initially exposed to clean air and given placebo pills to check their basic responses. In the second phase of the trial they were given a further placebo for a period of four weeks, after which they were exposed to heavily polluted air from downtown Toronto. In the third phase, the volunteers were again exposed to the polluted air but this time were given a daily supplement containing 50 milligrams of vitamin B6, 2.5 milligrams of folic acid, and 1 milligram of vitamin B12.

Remarkably, the researchers found that the B vitamins reduced the genetic damage caused by exposure to fine particulate matter in the polluted air by between 28 and 76 percent. A similar reduction in damage was noted in the DNA of the mitochondria, the energy-producing parts of the cells.

To learn how B vitamin supplements can help stop the development of Alzheimer’s disease, see this article on our website.