Folate May Help Forestall Forgetfulness
Some of us may have overlooked an important B vitamin, vitamin B9 or folate. Furthermore, there is evidence that folate may help forestall forgetfulness.
Burnt Egg Shells
Have you ever smelled the gross stench of burnt egg shells? It happens when you leave a pot of eggs boiling on the stove, then go do something else and forget about them. Many of us have done this. Consequently, you end up with a smoke-filled kitchen.
You may tell yourself, “Don’t forget the eggs are on the stove.”
But, what we should tell ourselves is, “Remember the eggs are on the stove.” Because, it’s the more positive memory anchor.
Sometimes, no matter what you tell your brain, it will still gap things. Maybe it’s because we have so much on our mind.
Fortified Grain Products
Data from a recent nationwide health and nutrition survey (NHANES III) showed that fortifying grain products with Vitamin B folate can help reduce memory loos in the over-60 set.
Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., were looking for a relationship between blood homocysteine levels and memory loss. Their research had established that seniors with low intakes of B vitamins had higher homocysteine levels.
Homocysteine, which is a byproduct of our own amino acid metabolism, increases stroke risk. Consequently, this is a large factor in the loss of cognitive function. (Especially relevant, 75% of dementia cases are due to stroke or Alzheimer’s disease which is also thought to develop from minor strokes.)
The team needed to discover whether high homocysteine levels or low B vitamin levels influenced the rate of memory loss in those over 60.
According to Martha Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist, who led the study, Vitamin B’s are involved in the synthesis of chemicals crucial to brain function. Homocysteine itself might be toxic to nerve cells.
The NHANES III included a test of recall after a short delay, one that can identify individuals with a milder loss of recall.
Others had reported that homocysteine was related to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as to poor cognitive function in elderly both with and without dementia. Researchers excluded data from people who had suffered a stroke.[the_ad id=”2326″]
Their analysis showed elevated homocysteine levels were associated with memory loss. Survey subjects whose blood folate levels were in the upper half seemed to be protected from memory loss even if their homocysteine levels were high.
What we can take away from this is: Keep your folate levels up. It’s not difficult to do now because all grain products have been fortified with vitamin B since 1998.