Vitamin B for a better brain
An Australian study has found a diet rich in B group vitamins may improve our capacity to think and remember.
CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition conducted clinical trials assessing the effect of the B-group vitamins folate, B-12, and B-6, on the cognitive performance of 211 Adelaide women aged 20-92 years.
Project leader Dr Janet Bryan said, "We found that folate supplementation improved memory and planning ability and that B6 supplementation improved verbal ability". Dr Bryan will present her findings this week at the 14th annual CSIRO Food Industry conference in Adelaide.
Having established the normal vitamin B intake of each of the women, researchers divided the group into four (folate, B-12, B-6, and placebo), and increased the dietary intake of the respective vitamins for a period of five weeks.
The women underwent tests designed to measure speed of thought, memory and verbal skills, before, during and at the end of the five-week period.
Dr Bryan said, "Research into food, thinking and memory is at a relatively early stage but it has been known for some time that the B vitamins are associated with cognitive performance among older adults".
"Dietary intake of B vitamins was also associated with memory, speed of information processing, verbal reasoning and verbal ability".
B vitamins are found in many foods, including liver, kidneys, vegetables, dairy products and whole grains.
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