Brain health tends to deteriorate as a normal part of the aging process and without a doubt one of the most feared diseases is Alzheimer’s. It is a progressive neurological disorder that neutralizes brain cells, affects brain functions, and affects memory. While there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, scientists and medical professionals work tirelessly to find a preventive solution. Recently a study led by a team of researchers from the University of Delaware, had an interesting finding: a good intake of vitamin B12 could affect the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and protect the brain against it.
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a condition associated with decreased thinking ability and decreased behavioral and social skills. The numbers don’t lie: it is estimated that approximately 44 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease or an associated form of dementia throughout the world. In addition, according to reports from the National Institute on Aging, the widespread presence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years after age 65.
Yes OK, unfortunately Alzheimer’s is not a preventable disease, risk factors can be modified. Considering that most diseases are related to aspects focused on lifestyle, it is important to know that in the case of Alzheimer’s: it is no different. To date, its specific causes are not known in a particular way, it is known that age, sex, poor lifestyle habits, diet, a lesion in the brain or even genes, can play an important role in the triggering of the condition.
Therefore, although there is no way in which a person can predict the onset of the disease, studies do not lie and have suggested that there are certain behaviors that can modify or reduce risk factors. Among the main ones are: exercising regularly, consuming natural foods, being aware of other chronic diseases and a good rest.
Why does vitamin B12 protect us against Alzheimer’s?
While there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, scientists and medical professionals work tirelessly to find a preventive solution. Such is the case of this novel study, in which it has been found that vitamin B12 is a great addition to the diet of people who want to protect their brain health and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Scientifically, Alzheimer’s disease patients are said to have a protein in the brain known as beta amyloid, which appears to have a toxic effect on neurons, disrupting cell-to-cell communication. The researchers used this concept to develop the study, using small worms that live in the soil called C. elegans. A buildup of beta amyloid in these tiny worms is believed to cause paralysis within 36 hours of reaching adulthood, an effect seen when they stopped wiggling. However, when fed E. coli bacteria that contain high levels of vitamin B12, the worms were found to be protected against paralysis.
According to statements by Professor Jessica Tanis, who was the study’s principal investigator: “The reading is in black or white: worms move or not. “When we gave vitamin B12 to worms that were deficient in vitamin B12, the paralysis occurred much more slowly, which immediately told us that B12 was beneficial.” Another finding of the experiment is that the worms with vitamin B12, had higher energy levels and less oxidative stress in their cells. Furthermore, the study also found that the trick worked only if the worms were deficient in the vitamin in the first place.
As part of the study’s conclusions, according to Tanis; Although there is currently no particular treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, “there are certain factors that cannot be changed: You can’t change the fact that we grow old and you can’t change a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease. ” However, what can be done is to modify people’s lifestyle and adapt it to their general health.
Although there is still much research work to be done, especially focused on the effects of diet as part of the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s. Today we know that the quality of the food we eat plays a key role in our general health and in the prevention of diseases, also thanks to these findings we know that through the consumption of certain nutrients it is possible to modify some of the risk factors and delay the disease, in the cases of people prone to suffering from it.
As an aside, vitamin B12 is found in numerous foods that shine for their nutritional potential and that they are considered an indispensable part of a healthy diet. Specifically, it is usually found in foods of animal origin and that stand out for their content in healthy fats, it is well known that the three main macronutrients that the body requires in large quantities to maintain its internal functions are: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Bet on increasing the intake of vitamin B12, through the consumption of meat, fatty fish, shellfish, products made with soy, eggs and dairy
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.