Large daily doses of B vitamins could delay — or even halt — the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggested on Thursday.
The study found that supplementing the diet with vitamin B could halve the rate of brain shrinkage in elderly people with warning signs of the disease.
Shrinkage, a natural part of ageing, happens faster in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The team of British-led scientists behind the study believe the vitamin treatment could slow or possibly halt development of the disease but stressed more research was needed to test this theory.
In the research, published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, brain atrophy was studied in 168 volunteers over the age of 70 diagnosed with MCI.
Over a two-year period, half were given a daily tablet containing high doses of the B vitamins folate, B6 and B12. The rest received a placebo pill with no active ingredients.