B12 believed to help ward off Alzheimer's

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Researchers believe that seniors who include B12 and folate supplements in their daily routines may be at lower risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.

Low levels of B12 were associated with lower mental function in seniors who also possess a lipid gene associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's. Researchers describe their finding in the April issue of Neuropsychology.

"There is good reason to consider inclusion of vitamin B12 and folate supplements as part of preventive health regimens for older persons," especially APOE4 carriers, they write.

Among healthy individuals over age 75, APOE4 carriers have more memory lapses when vitamin B12 falls below normal levels, according to the study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Low folate levels had a similar effect, though not as strong.