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Vitamins That Cost Pennies A Day Seen Delaying Dementia
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:22 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

(Source: Business Week) - A cheap regimen of vitamins in use for decades is seen by scientists as a way to delay the start of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, a goal that prescription drugs have failed to achieve.

Now, in the latest of a steady drumbeat of research that suggests diet, exercise and socializing remain patients' best hope, a recent study shows that vitamins B6 and B12 combined with folic acid slowed atrophy of gray matter in brain areas affected by Alzheimer's disease.

In the study, researchers tracked 156 people ages 70 and older who had mild memory loss and high levels of a protein previously linked to dementia. Among people with elevated homocysteine (a naturally occurring amino acid found in blood plasma, when levels are high increases the risk of Alzheimer's), the study found that the amount of gray matter declined 5.2 percent in those taking a placebo, compared with 0.6 percent in those who took the vitamin cocktail. The supplements cost about 30 cents a day in pharmacies and health-food stores.

"It's the first and only disease-modifying treatment that's worked," said A. David Smith, senior author of the study. "We have proved the concept that you can modify the disease."

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Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 3:27 PM
Joined: 5/13/2013
Posts: 315

Thanks for the post Myriam.  I have been using those  vitamins for the past 9 months for my dad with positive results.  We go to a naturopath who first recommended them to us.



Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:29 PM
Joined: 1/23/2013
Posts: 98

Business Week - odd place to find a vitamin study.  Turmeric is also well thought of.  And Benfotiamine (B1 that crosses the blood/brain barrier) was developed by the Japanese to treat alcohol caused dementia.
Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 8:05 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 62

I read about it before. It is related with homocysteine level: 



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Lane Simonian
Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 9:55 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5174

This is exactly right.  B vitamins help those with cognitive impairment who have high levels of homocysteine. 


Homocysteine activates phospholipase C gamma which is a trigger for Alzheimer's disease. 


This subsequently results in the activation of NADPH oxidase (superoxide anions) and Nuclear Factor kappa B (inducible nitric oxide).  Superoxide anions and inducible nitric oxide combine to form peroxynitrites which are the principal oxidant in Alzheimer's disease. 


Interestingly, the effects of homocysteine can also be offset by a Mediterranean diet. 


Homocysteine induces VCAM-1 gene expression through NF-κB and NAD(P)H oxidase activation: protective role of Mediterranean diet polyphenolic antioxidants 


Peroxynitrites in the brain cut off the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway and this leads to brain atrophy. 




And here is the link between this research and that posted by Onward on flavonoids.  Flavonoids stimulate the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway, they inhibit phospholipase C gamma, they inhibit NADPH oxidase and Nuclear Factor kappa B, they scavenge peroxynitrites, and they partially reverse the oxidative and nitrative damage done by peroxynitrites.  The more bioavailable flavonoids can thus potentially both delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and treat it. 

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 5:54 AM
Joined: 9/13/2013
Posts: 112

My mother had lost her sleep-wake cycle badly - Awake for  2 day straight, and sleep for two days straight. A month ago, I gathered from my sister-in-law that she gave her mom who has sleeping problems Vitamin B12 natural form methylcobalamin 3xs a day, and took three months to restore her mom's normal sleeping pattern. I did gave my mom 2xs a day. For the first two weeks, she did not sleep for one night only, then on the 3rd week, she was able to sleep every night the whole week.


Vitamin B12 methylcobalamin was also used by a friend to combat forgetfulness. It took her mom six months before her mom returned to normal. My friend swears that they have stopped the forgetfulness of their mom. I recently mentioned this to another friend whose mother has the same problem - she ask the same questions repeatedly as she forgot that she already has done so, After a week, my friend believes that her mom has lessen her asking the same questions.


Would this mean that most AD or those with MCI mostly have high homocysteine levels? I don't know, but Vitamin B12 works, even without the Vit B6. It validates my earlier readings that Vitamin B12 is one of the supplements that is good for AD. The methylcobalamin form maybe the key to its high effectivity.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 9:59 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5174

I am glad that you are here, scma.  Your knowledge and experience will be of great value.   


This study on vitamins and omega 3-fatty acids is for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, but may also have implications for its treatment. 


I am working off the peroxynitrite hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease which has been around for about twenty years.  Here is a study on the effects of Vitamin B12 on some of the derivatives of peroxynitrites (peroxynitrous acid and nitrogen dioxide/nitrite). 


To a certain extent, then, B12 might help someone without high homocysteine levels of without a B12 deficiency. 


Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 11:31 AM
Joined: 9/13/2013
Posts: 112


@Lane Simonian - I am glad to have found this forum. There is a lot very useful info contributed by concerned people like you. I am grateful to be here.    


I was actually looking at your aromatherapy thread before you even responded to my post. I will ask you more about it on that thread.    


Thank you for the links.


Regarding Omega-3.  The same friend that alleviated her mom’s forgetfulness with Vitamin B12 had emailed me recently to ask if I know of any omega-3 brand that is smaller in size. Her mom has stopped taking it as she finds it hard to swallow. And she said after which, she started noticing her memory loss has increased. The link study you listed corroborates that.


More on B12.  There are many extensive studies on B12 showing how vital it is to our overall mental well being. Your peroxynitrite knowledge relating to B12 is of interest to me. So I learned today that it is a peroxynitrite scavenger as well. What I know is that B12 helps also in synthesizing acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that functions primarily in the hippocampus of the brain, assisting the nerves to communicate with one another and form memories. Lack of acetylcholine has been linked to AD. 1992

Vitamin B12 improves cognitive disturbance in rodents fed a choline-deficient diet 1988  

Effects of vitamin B12 supplementation on choline acetyltransferase activity in cat brain