Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ask an Alzheimer's Specialist

Vitamin B-12: Can it improve memory in Alzheimer's?

Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist Glenn Smith, Ph.D., and colleagues answer select questions from readers.
clipped from
Is it true that vitamin B-12 supplements can improve memory? What about in people with Alzheimer's disease?

Vitamin B-12 may improve memory in people with a proven vitamin B-12 deficiency. Poor memory may be a sign of Vitamin B-12 deficiency. In such cases, supplementing with vitamin B-12 may improve memory. However, there's no evidence that vitamin B-12 enhances memory in people with normal memory.

At this time, there's no evidence that supplementing with vitamin B-12 offers any benefit to people with Alzheimer's disease. However, some studies suggest that people with Alzheimer's disease have reduced blood levels of vitamin B-12 — and that people with reduced blood levels of vitamin B-12 are at increased risk of Alzheimer's. As a result, several large studies are under way to evaluate the potential benefit of vitamin B-12 supplementation in people with Alzheimer's.

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