How vitamin supplementation may affect the dementia risk

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Scientists from Bonifatius Hospital Lingen found how vitamin supplementation may affect people’s dementia risk.

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering, and reasoning — to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.

Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change.

Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.

Symptoms of dementia depend on its cause and vary greatly between individuals. There is strong evidence supporting a link between diet and cognitive functions.

In the current review, researchers aimed to examine the efficacy of using vitamin supplements in the diet as a solution to prevent dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

They did an intensive search of different databases and included studies that were published between 2011 and November 2021.

The researchers found folic acid supplementation proved to have a beneficial effect on cognitive functions.

The combined supplementation of folic acid and vitamin B12 showed some inconsistency between studies.

Thiamine or vitamin B1 as supplementation did not only prove to have a positive impact on cognitive performance when given alone but also when given in combination with folic acid.

Regarding vitamin D supplementation, the results were not so encouraging. A supplementation of low-dose vitamin E and vitamin C was also not linked to an improvement in cognitive function.

Based on these findings, the team suggests that supplementation of B Complex vitamins, especially folic acid, may have a positive effect on delaying and preventing the risk of cognitive decline.

Vitamin C and a high dose of vitamin E, when given separately, also showed positive effects on cognitive performance, but there is not sufficient evidence to support their use.

The findings of vitamin D supplementation trials are not conclusive, and more work is needed to test the potential benefits that vitamin D might have on cognition.

The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Victoria Gil Martínez et al.

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