According to authors of a study on Vitamin B12 and highlighted in the September 8 issue of Neurology, a deficiency of Vitamin B12 may cause the brain to atrophy especially in those who may be vulnerable such as vegetarians, women who are lactating and the elderly.
In the study, 107 people aged 61 to 87 years who started without cognitive impairment at the beginning of the study were tested yearly over 5 years. Among the results of the study was a “decrease in brain volume [that] was greater among those with lower vitamin B12.”
The study’s co-author Anna Vogiatzoglou, a registered dietician and doctoral candidate in the department of physiology, anatomy and genetics at the University of Oxford, in England, told U.S. News that they are doing a new study to see if taking B Vitamins really does slow down the shrinking of the brain which is often associated with impairment of cognitive function and Alzheimer’s Disease.
This new study is expected to complete in 2009.
Even though the study shows a connection between Vitamin B12 deficiencies and brain atrophy, it’s not clear that adding B vitamin supplements will help prevent the atrophy, hence, the new study.