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Vitamin B Supplements Don’t Benefit Memory, Study Finds

Kate
Senior Editor, TipsHire
Vitamin-B-Supplements-Dont-Benefit-Memory-Study-Finds

We are all aware of the fact that a healthy lifestyle may be able to support the brain health that we all surely want, and sometimes, a healthier lifestyle can even encourage our brain to develop new neurons, which is a process that some of us might have heard, called neuroplasticity. Among the lifestyle factors that can help us improve our memory and encourage the neourogenesis can be included the following: exercising, eating the right food and getting the adequate amount of sleep every night.

But we also think that we need a lot more than these in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, so we follow tips that are known to be able to make a difference in our lives. These tips include aviding doing multitasking with the memory, trying to learn a new skill, trying to play strategy games and intelligence or brain games, and use the mnemoniacs, which is a specific memory technique that can helps us recall the information once known or learned.

Aliments and toxins affecting the brain

It was thought that the brain functioning reached a certain maximum point in the first decade of the adulthood and then it started to slowly decade, gradually leading to mental lapses and fog, especially in the golden years of the old age. But now we know that the modern life styles can surely play a significant role in contributing to the cognitive decline, so if we expose too much to toxins, chemicals, too much lack of sleep, to a poor nutrient diet, to stress and more, all of these factors can actually hinder the brain functioning. But there is a good news among all this: that the reverse is also true and that leading a healthy lifestyle can actually support our brain health and development, and even encourage our brain to grow new neurons, this process being called neurogenesis.

Our brain hippocampus, which is the memory center, can regenerate itself during our entire lives, even when we are 90 years old, if we make it that far. But his can only happen if you give your brain the right tools to deal with and to do this. And as you’ve probably already guessed, these tools are based on the life style we have. This is great news, right? We don’t actually need any medication or medical procedures cost performances in order be able to enhance our brain and memory skills, especially considering that a new study has reached the surface and proved that vitamin supplements can’t actually improve our memory.

Is Vitamin B good for brain?

According to this new study, if we take vitamin B supplements (B12 for example) or folic acid supplements, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we can reduce the risk of developing memory and thinking problems, especially when it comes to older people. As we’re accustomed so far, there are studies that have found a link between the lower levels of a certain complex of vitamin B supplements and poor thinking skills, and in contradiction, there were other studies that contained some mixed results about whether taking vitamin B supplements will actually improve our cognitive performance.

Getting to this point is confusing already, and we pretty much don’t know what to think anymore. Sure, we know that vitamins are good for the health, that they have improving properties, but as this study shows, it might not be the properties and benefits that we think. In this case, it is about the thinking skills.

This recent study has evaluated the effects of taking vitamin B supplements (2 per day) for almost 2 years on a number of 3,000 healthy people that weren’t diagnosed with any vitamin deficiency. Instead, all of the patients had some high blood levels of a protein called homocystene. The homocystene was previously linked to memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers knew that the homocystene levels can be lowered with the help of folic acid or/and the vitamin B12 supplements, so they’ve hoped to use these in order to treat or alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and the memory loss issue.

The people that attended this study were 74 years old, on average, and they we’re divided into 2 major groups. Group 1 had to take vitamin B12 and folic acid (Vitamin B9) supplements, while Group 2 had to take only placebo, without each of the patient knowing which group took the supplements and which not. In time, the participants were asked to take tests in order to measure their attention and memory skills, and especially their working memory. The working memory is one of the types of memory each people has, and it is used to perform daily tasks.

The study’s results were unbelievable. It revealed that the people who have taken the vitamin B supplements scored some decreased levels of homocystene during the period of the study. But the strangest thing was that the study’s scores for the both groups were practically the same, they didn’t differ, and this suggested that taking vitamin B supplements and folic acid supplements didn’t quite help people’s memory skills, neither fix their thinking performance or issues. The study can be found in the journal called Neurology.

In fact, the researchers from the study team have confessed that the homocystene levels have actually decreased in the group that took the vitamin B supplements rather than in the group that have taken only placebo. When the both groups were submitted to memory tests and thinking, their scores were practically the same, showing no difference at all in their approaches.

On the other hand, the researchers could notice that the participants were healthy and they thought that taking vitamin B supplements may have some beneficial effects after all, and these may be different for the people who already experience cognitive issues. Another important thing to notice was the fact that the vitamins levels seemed somehow to be linked to the changes in the brain that cannot be translated in the psychological tests. These changes in the brain can actually be noticed only in the brain scans.

The luckiest people seem to be the ones from the well developed countries, whose normal diet can actually provide them with enough vitamin B12 that the body needs in general. Some of the products that contain vitamin B are the following foods: fish, eggs, meat and a lot of dairy products. However, among the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency, are the followings: poor memory and poor neurological signs, weight loss. The worrying thing is that these are all common symptoms that can be attributed to a lot of other conditions.

When it comes to keeping our memory safe and sane, we are all willing to do whatever it takes and taking whatever supplements or pills that promise to improve its strength. But the fact is, there are plenty of other ways in which we can keep our memory strong, and neither of these ways include taking medication.

We know that memory is one that stores all the information that comes from the outside. The information is stored in the “magic box” for a while, on a shorter or longer duration, because the storage ranges from person to person. Hence, we derive the information whenever we need it. For this to be possible, the memory must be maintained and trained daily. In this regard, there are several ways we can keep our memory strong. Here are some of them:

Discover the simplest way for you to retain information! There are people that retain information easier when it is received on a visual level, others retain it more easily when hearing it, while other people appeal to different other senses we all have. Learn about what is the best method that works for you and train in constantly. Value your memory this way.

Train your memory! Get involved in activities that require your brain, entertain it and enjoy the things you do. Talk with your friends about the last movie you saw, read a really good book, try to play chess, try to solve crosswords, do puzzles unties, visit some interesting places, learn a foreign language and the list can surely go on!

Refresh your memory! Re-read the information that interests you directly, get rid of the unnecessary information and repeat yourself in your mind the facts and information that you’ve received lately.  Inform yourself on the events taking place around you: in your family, with your friends, in your life, in your country or on the globe. To remember the name of a person that you just met, make an association between that person and the name it carries.

There are plenty of several ways in which you can refresh and train your memory. So don’t rely on supplements, especially if it’s about the Vitamin B complex.

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