Low Vitamin B12 in the Brain Affects Memory

Vitamin B12 plays a very important role in neurological function, affecting memory and balance when blood levels are low. A new study shows impressively low levels of B12 measured in the brain were related to decreased neurological function and memory impairment in the elderly, as well as those with autism and schizophrenia.

“These are particularly significant findings because the differences we found in brain B12 with aging, autism and schizophrenia are not seen in the blood, which is where B12 levels are usually measured.” said Dr. Richard Deth, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Pharmacy. “The large deficits of brain B12 from individuals with autism and schizophrenia could help explain why patients suffering from these disorders experience neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms.”

http://healthxwellness.com/nutrition/supplements/vitamin-b12-sources/

Food Sources of Vitamin B12

What foods have the most Vitamin B12?

“…Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products and wild-caught fish. Leafy green vegetables, beans and peas also provide some B vitamins, but if you eat an all vegetarian or vegan diet, vitamin B12 is one of the nutrients your body is most likely deficient in, as it is naturally present in foods that come from animals, including meat, fish, eggs, milk and milk products.” (From Dr. Mercola – his article is interesting in that he discusses in greater detail the effects of diminished B vitamins and elevated homocysteine for increased Alzheimers and brain shrinkage.) [Read more…]

Easy Diet to Lower Dementia Risk

Research studying specific dietary effects on Alzheimer onset from Rush University, has been listed in the top rankings by U.S. News and World Report among diets specifically aimed at brain health. . The MIND diet, developed by Martha Clare Morris, ScD, a nutritional epidemiologist from Rush University, is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and DASH blood pressure reduction diet, and has been shown to be very effective in maintaining brain health with aging. Lowering the risk of Alzheimer disease onset by 53 percent for those who followed it precisely, and 35 percent less risk for those following it moderately, it is also being ranked as the easiest diet to follow.

http://www.sportsnutritionvlog.com/2014/07/01/functional-foods-recent-evidence-part-2/

DASH Diet Food Pyramid

“The MIND diet has 15 dietary components, including 10 “brain-healthy food groups” and five unhealthy groups — red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food. To adhere to and benefit from the MIND diet, a person would need to eat at least three servings of whole grains, a green leafy vegetable and one other vegetable every day — along with a glass of wine — snack most days on nuts, have beans every other day or so, eat poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week. In addition, the study found that to have a real shot at avoiding the devastating effects of cognitive decline, he or she must limit intake of the designated unhealthy foods, especially butter (less than 1 tablespoon a day), sweets and pastries, whole fat cheese, and fried or fast food (less than a serving a week for any of the three). Berries are the only fruit specifically to be included in the MIND diet. “Blueberries are one of the more potent foods in terms of protecting the brain,” Morris says, and strawberries also have performed well in past studies of the effect of food on cognitive function.”  Quoted from Science Daily’s article titled “MIND Diet Repeatedly Ranked Among the Best”, released January 5, 2016.

From a quick glance, the diet seems heavy on grains and vegetables, very light on (meat) proteins, and dairy. I would like to know if those following this diet strictly are taking any vitamin supplements, and are monitoring their vitamin and mineral levels, especially those like Vitamin B12 and Calcium.

I hope there are more research results coming on the longevity and mobility of those who follow the MIND diet closely, as well as overall health and well being long term. For now this is such a great find, easy to apply as the recommended foods are readily accessible, and no prescription required!

A Tip to Help Your Late-Life Memory

Could it be true? Mild to moderate alcohol consumption in later life improves our memories?

http://www.wineware.co.uk/vacuvin-red-wine-glass-set-of-2

Champagne, Chardonnay or Burgundy?

First let’s understand what the hippocampus is and does from Biology.com

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing. It is a limbic system structure that is particularly important in forming new memories and connecting emotions and senses, such as smell and sound, to memories. The hippocampus is a horseshoe shaped paired structure, with one hippocampus located in the left brain hemisphere and the other in the right hemisphere. The hippocampus acts as a memory indexer by sending memories out to the appropriate part of the cerebral hemisphere for long-term storage and retrieving them when necessary. [Read more…]

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