More folic acid may help improve the memory in older adults
Increasing the amount of folic acid in the diets of older adults may actually help improve their memory, according to Dutch researchers.
There already is evidence that a diet high in folate, a vitamin B typically found in grains and some fruits and vegetables, lowers women's risks of having a baby with birth defects and helps ward off heart disease and strokes. Scientists now believe a folic acid vitamin pill might slow the mental decline of aging in older adults.
For the Dutch study, researchers gave people ages 50 to 75 years either a vitamin containing 800 micrograms of folic acid a day, or a placebo pill over a three-year period.
Memory tests on the supplement takers revealed scores comparable to people five and a half years younger, lead researcher Jane Durga of Wageningen University reported during a recent meeting of the Alzheimer's Association.