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We have many Vitamins on the nutritional list. In this list, some vitamins are known well to boost memory power and help in slowing down memory loss problems. This includes Vitamin B12 on the top of the list with many other health supplements like Ginkgo Biloba and omega-3 fatty acids.
But the question here arises whether these vitamins boost memory power? Do they really help in reducing memory loss?
Let us have a deep insight to find the answer here!!
Many types of research had been conducted to find the relation between Vitamin B12 intake levels and their effect on memory power. It is evident from the studies that the amount of Vitamin B12 intake has a direct relation with the increment in memory power and reduction in memory loss.
Those who are strict vegetarians or have stomach or bowel issues tend to have Vitamin B12 deficiency. And, the deficiency of Vitamin B12 increases with the age. This is because of the lower stomach acid level in old age persons.
The other factor behind the deficiency of Vitamin B12 is the ongoing medications for other physical issues. It may be diabetes medications, proton pump inhibitors, anti-inflammatory medicines, or birth control pills.
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in seafood especially fishes and poultry products. A fortified breakfast cereal also serves as a great option to get Vitamin B12 in the daily diet. If any person has ongoing medications, they tend to have low levels of Vitamin B12 due to low stomach acid level and due to which the body is unable to absorb the adequate amount of Vitamin B12 from the food taken. Hence, they may require a dietary supplement to fulfill the daily nutritional need of Vitamin B12 for the body.
Vitamin B12 is much beneficial to maintain healthy brain cells i.e. neurons and red blood cells (RBC). So, it is much beneficial for the body to take Vitamin B12 supplements to improve memory power and memory retention capacity.
Although there is no clear evidence from the studies that Vitamin B12 intake helps in mental health issues such as Alzheimer's disease. But some studies concluded that inadequate levels of Vitamin B12 increase the risk of having dementia and other mental health problems. Taking Vitamin B12 supplements improves brain functioning and memory loss.
Vitamin D, also called "sunshine vitamin" is synthesized in the body when the person is exposed to sunlight. This vitamin is well known for its contribution to bone health and maintaining calcium levels in the body. So if this Vitamin is taken in addition to milk does wonder to the body. Deficiency of Vitamin D causes impairment in brain function as well.
"We know there are receptors for vitamin D throughout the central nervous system and in the hippocampus,” says Robert J. Przybylski, who is a doctor and a research scientist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
"We also know vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth.” Adding to it, studies suggested that Vitamin D is helpful to protect neurons and reduces inflammation.
There were two new research works conducted on Vitamin D and its impact on the cognitive properties of the brain.
"The first study, led by neuroscientist David Llewellyn of the University of Cambridge, assessed vitamin D levels in more than 1,700 men and women from England, aged 65 or older. Subjects were divided into four groups based on vitamin D blood levels: severely deficient, deficient, insufficient (borderline) and optimum, then tested for cognitive function."
From the above research, it was concluded that as the level of Vitamin D gets lowered inside the body, the cognitive abilities of the person have experienced a direct impact of it such that the cognitive skills get reduced too. If we compare these with the people having an adequate level of Vitamin D inside the body, the first ones are two times cognitively impaired than the second ones with adequate Vitamin D levels.
"A second study, led by scientists at the University of Manchester in England and published online this past May, looked at vitamin D levels and cognitive performance in more than 3,100 men aged 40 to 79 in eight different countries across Europe. The data show that those people with lower vitamin D levels exhibited slower information-processing speed. This correlation was particularly strong among men older than 60 years."
“The fact that this relationship was established in a large-scale, clinical human study is very important,” Przybylski says, “but there’s still a lot we don’t know.”
It is clear from the above two studies that lower Vitamin D levels greatly reduces the cognitive abilities of the brain. But it is not clearly evident that a higher amount of Vitamin D would reduce the cognitive losses.
Also, if a cognitively impaired person is given an adequate amount of vitamin D, it will help the person to regain the cognitive abilities of the brain?
Also, cognitive impairment is the first step to drag the person towards Alzheimer's disease and dementia. So it would also impact the patients with these disorders. This can be a hot topic to research for scientists, if patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia are given an adequate amount of Vitamin D for the long run, will it have a surprising effect on the patient's recovery rate?
Expert's advice says that 1000-2000 IU daily is the required dose to be taken by the patient which is exactly the same as the amount of Vitamin D the body synthesized by 15-20 minutes sun exposure, two or three times a week.
It is the ideal range of vitamin D intake. For a healthy adult, it may be a bit higher than this range. It also depends on the geographical area of the person, age, color, time period of sun exposure, etc.
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