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Vitamin B12's Surprising Role in Brain Health


The B vitamins are known for giving your body energy. And vitamin B12 is particularly known for its role in the nervous system and metabolizing just about every cell in the human body. So, yeah, it's pretty important. But new research has found that vitamin B12 is even more important because it plays a role in brain health.

Published in the journal Neurology, researchers found that vitamin B12 deficiency was linked with brain shrinkage and age-related memory decline. In fact, the older people with vitamin B12 deficiency who were studied had the smallest brains and the lowest scores on tests measuring thinking, reasoning and memory. As we age, our brains naturally shrink, however, those with the greatest brain shrinkage are at the greatest risk for with vitamin B12 deficiency, according to WebMD

While the new research isn't proof that vitamin B12 deficiency causes dementia, it is true that older adults eat fewer foods that are high in vitamin B12, like eggs, meat, fish and fortified cereal. Additionally, researchers say that as the body ages, it's harder for it to break down the vitamin and absorb it. Older people may also take drugs that interfere with vitamin B12 absorption. 
What's your favorite way to get vitamin B12 in your diet? Protein? Supplements? Tell us about it!


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