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Folate, B12 prevent memory loss

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Folate, B12 prevent memory loss

January 13, 2012

AUSTRALIAN researchers have accidentally discovered that taking folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements can prevent memory loss in people over 60.

The team of researchers, based at several universities around Australia, set out to look at the prevention of depression rather than cognitive decline. They wanted to know whether folate - the naturally occurring version of folic acid - could help reduce levels of depression.

''Folate had no effect on whether people were more or less depressed,'' said one of the study's authors, Helen Christensen, professor of Mental Health Research at the University of New South Wales.

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However, there was an effect on cognitive decline.

''We found that those people who were taking folate did not seem to show the same level of cognitive change as those that were not taking folate,'' she said.

Professor Christensen said using folate and Vitamin B12 was an inexpensive way for people to improve memory function.

''I didn't expect that such a small dose of folate supplement would have such an effect on cognitive levels,'' she said.


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