Can vitamin B12 help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Vitamin B12 helps to lower blood homocysteine levels, a known correlate of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Robin Miller discusses the relationship between vitamin B12 and Alzheimer's disease in this video.

Currently there is no solid evidence that vitamin B12 can prevent Alzheimer's disease, but research is ongoing. Several studies have found that people who are deficient in vitamin B12 may be at higher risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Recently researchers in Australia reviewed 43 studies that examined the link between vitamin B12 and dementia. They found that when people with dementia were treated with vitamin B12 supplements, mental ability improved only in those people who had previously been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, a small subgroup of the people who were treated. Vitamin B12 did not improve mental ability in people who were not deficient in the nutrient.

Vitamin B12 is found in foods from animal sources, including red meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. People who have vegetarian or vegan diets may be at increased risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. Talk to your doctor about your own vitamin B12 needs and whether supplementation is right for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.