What vitamins might help with memory?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Folic acid and B12 are two vitamins that may help with memory. A deficiency of either or both of these B vitamins has been linked with a higher risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

Low levels of folic acid and B12 can also lead to elevated blood levels of homocysteine, a compound associated with both cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Some small trials have also shown a very modest benefit in older people who took supplements containing folic acid and B12, compared to those who didn't. In one study, people who took the supplements did slightly better on short-term memory tests than others who took sugar pills.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is fairly common in older people, because with aging, many people become less efficient at absorbing B12 from foods. Another vitamin that has shown some promise is vitamin E; one study found that it helped slow memory loss in Alzheimer's patients.

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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.