Saturday, 10 March 2012

Supplements and cognitive function

Helichrysum angustifolium,  Picture by Ian Brealey  


 After 24 months of supplementation with folic acid and vitamin B12 elderly adults were found to have improvements in cognitive function, immediate recall and short-term memory.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):194-203. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Oral folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms--the Beyond Ageing Project: a randomized controlled trial.


Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.



Evidence remains unclear as to whether folic acid (FA) and vitamin B-12 supplementation is effective in reducing depressive symptoms.


The objective was to determine whether oral FA + vitamin B-12 supplementation prevented cognitive decline in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults with elevated psychological distress.


A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a completely crossed 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design comprising daily oral 400 μg FA + 100 μg vitamin B-12 supplementation (compared with placebo), physical activity promotion, and depression literacy with comparator control interventions for reducing depressive symptoms was conducted in 900 adults aged 60-74 y with elevated psychological distress (Kessler Distress 10-Scale; scores >15). The 2-y intervention was delivered in 10 modules via mail with concurrent telephone tracking calls. Main outcome measures examined change in cognitive functioning at 12 and 24 mo by using the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status-Modified (TICS-M) and the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (processing speed); the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly was administered at 24 mo.


FA + vitamin B-12 improved the TICS-M total (P = 0.032; effect size d = 0.17), TICS-M immediate (P = 0.046; d = 0.15), and TICS-M delayed recall (P = 0.013; effect size d = 0.18) scores at 24 mo in comparison with placebo. No significant changes were evident in orientation, attention, semantic memory, processing speed, or informant reports.


Long-term supplementation of daily oral 400 μg FA + 100 μg vitamin B-12 promotes improvement in cognitive functioning after 24 mo, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance. This trial was registered at as NCT00214682.

 wit from the dfh friday facts.................
At a medical convention, a noted internist arises to announce that he has discovered a new miracle antibiotic.
"What does it cure?" asks a member of the audience.
"Nothing we don't already have a drug for," the internist replies.
"Well, what's so miraculous about it?"
"One of the side effects is short-term memory loss. Several of my patients have paid my bill three times already!" 

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