A seven-year study recently published in the medical journal Neurology has found that vitamin B12 may have a significant effect of reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease, SeniorJournal.com reports.
At the beginning of the evaluation period, 271 Finnish adults who had no signs of memory loss were tested for homocysteine, which is an amino acid that can have negative effects on the brain, although vitamin B12 is known to lower these levels.
Researchers discovered that a small, measured increase in homocysteine can increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 16 percent, whereas measured increases of vitamin B12 could lower the risk by two percent.
While these findings seem to indicate the positive effects of the vitamin, other studies have shown this nutrient to be ineffective.
"Low levels of vitamin B12 are surprisingly common in the elderly. However, the few studies that have investigated the usefulness of vitamin B12 supplements to reduce the risk of memory loss have had mixed results," study author Babak Hooshmand said, according to the news source.
Those who are concerned about a spouse or parent suffering from Alzheimer's may want to invest in an elderly alert system as well, which can allow the adult to immediately send a personal emergency response message to caretakers or doctors.