Dietary Supplements: Do B Vitamins Benefit the Brain?

High doses of B vitamins aren’t likely to preserve your memory or thinking ability.

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Researchers examined 11 large controlled trials that gave a total of 22,000 (mostly older) people either a placebo or (typically) high doses of folic acid (400 to 2,500 mcg a day), usually along with vitamins B-6 (3 to 50 mg) and B-12 (20 to 1,000 mcg). After 4 months to 7 years, the B-vitamin takers scored no better on cognitive tests than placebo takers.

What to do: High doses of B vitamins won’t keep your brain from aging. However, if you’re over 50, get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (2.4 mcg a day) of B-12 from a fortified food (like cereal) or a supplement.

Source: Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 100: 657,2014.

 

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