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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cognition and Mental Health - Folate and B12 Relationship

The relationship between diet and how sharp your brain could be. Interesting 'food for thought' from Science Daily regarding the relationships of high or low folate, with B12.

B12 is found in animal foods such as eggs, poultry, dairy, fish and meat. Folate is abundant in greens and citrus.

If one has a diet emphasizing high Folate level, normal levels of B12 are essential.

Having a HIGH folate level and low B12 leads to problems regarding nerves and proper function of gray matter and cognition. Loss of bone density, difficulty coping with stress and anemia are associated with low levels of B12 as well. Inability to cope with stress can be especially problematic.

Ironically, high levels of folate may actually NOT be bioavailable to the vegetarian who has a B12 deficiency. (following emphasis, mine)
Cobalamin deficiency renders folate largely biologically ineffective, although its plasma concentrations and distribution appear sufficient.
While some people often have poor diets to begin with and consume depleted processed foods, the main thing I take away from this, in light also to increased diabetes in our society is that that the increased emphasis on moving away from animal sources of food may well be compounding problems in the bigger picture.

Links to two articles....

Folate, More Is Not Always Better would have been the better title for this one at Science Daily (Nov. 26, 2007)
...The researchers found an interesting association among seniors aged 60 and older whose vitamin B12 blood levels were low. Aging and taking stomach-acid blockers can contribute to a gradual lessening of B12 absorption in the body.

People with high folate and low B12 status were found to be at a disadvantage when compared to those with normal folate and low B12 status; the former group was more likely to exhibit both anemia and cognitive impairment...
Older article (February) Folate and B12 May Influence Cognition Science Daily (Feb. 12, 2007)
. . . between 1999 and 2002, Morris and colleagues found that people with normal vitamin B12 status and high serum folate, which is a measure of folate in the blood, had higher scores on a test of cognitive function. Blood tests were used to determine folate and vitamin B12 levels, and the cognitive function test assessed aptitudes such as response speed, sustained attention, visual spatial skills, associative learning, and memory. Cognitive impairment was identified when a subject fell into the bottom 20th percentile of the distribution on the test.

". . . people with low vitamin B12 status, high serum folate was associated with poor performance on the cognitive test." Seniors with low vitamin B12 status and high serum folate were also significantly more likely than seniors in other categories to have anemia, a condition caused by reduced amounts of hemoglobin in oxygen-carrying red blood cells, or by a deficiency in the number or volume of such cells.

"For seniors, low vitamin B12 status and high serum folate was the worst combination," says Morris. "Specifically, anemia and cognitive impairment were observed nearly five times as often for people with this combination than among people with normal vitamin B12 and normal folate." Vitamin B12 deficiency, which affects many seniors due to age-related decreases in absorption, can impact the production of DNA needed for new cells, as well as neurological function.

See the articles for the full context.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/27/2007 09:31:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger Unknown sent us a woof // July 01, 2008

The bloge was very informative and by this information we can stay healthy. I always knew about Folate and vitamin B12 but was never able to relate between them. Thanks!

John Randal
Addiction Recovery California   

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