Are You Getting Enough of This Memory-Boosting Vitamin?

Aging-related cognitive decline and the development of mental health conditions like Alzheimer’s tend to be among the top concerns for the elderly and those approaching their senior years. If you’re feeling like your brain is no longer functioning at its normal levels, you may want to consider a supplement featuring vitamin B12.

What Makes Vitamin B12 Such a Big Deal?

Vitamin B12 plays a big role in brain health. As Patrick J. Skerrett over at the Harvard Health Blog suggests, not only is vitamin B12 needed “to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out other functions,” it cannot actually be made innately by the human body; it has to come from an external source—ie, food or supplements.

Experts suggest that vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a number cognition-related symptoms including trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, feelings of disorientation, dementia, and changes in mood.1 As such, getting enough of this micronutrient on a regular basis is critical to vital living.

Groups at Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

According to Skerrett, because the body cannot produce its own supply of B12, many individuals are unable to maintain or properly absorb it in high enough levels. “As a result,” he states, “vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people,” with up to a fifth of adults over 50 already at or nearing deficiency.

An article published by AARP notes similar concerns: seniors are more likely to develop a B12 deficiency as the stomach lining tends to thin with age and “prescription medications used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers and type 2 diabetes can limit the absorption of B12.”

Haven’t yet reached your golden years? You may still be at risk, particularly if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet—all natural sources of B12 occur in animal products like meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish, etc.

Individuals who had weight loss surgery done at some time in their lives also have a higher likelihood of deficiency, as do those with stomach- and bowel-related disorders. As with the older population, these groups tend to experience reduced absorption of the vitamin due to a weakened stomach lining.

Protecting Vitamin B12 Levels in All Individuals

Many studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of supplementing with B vitamins to improve brain function and reduce cognitive decline; for the most part, the results have been mixed. However, some research does suggest supplementing with vitamin B12 may slow the advance of Alzheimer’s in its early stages.

Jane E. Brody, writing for the New York Times, notes that researchers in Europe found that for patients experiencing Alzheimer’s and who were B12 deficient, increasing levels of B12 helped to protect areas of the patients’ brains. She goes on to note, “In a two-year study at the University of Oxford of 270 people older than 70 with mild cognitive impairment and low B12 levels, Dr. Helga Refsum, a professor of nutrition at the University of Oslo, found reduced cerebral atrophy in those treated with high doses of the vitamin.”

Brody also suggests that taking synthetic B12—as in supplement form—may help with the absorption of the multivitamin since it “is not attached to protein and thus bypasses the need for stomach acid.” Individuals who struggle to get enough B12 in their daily diet or who have compromised stomach linings may benefit more from a supplement than from trying to up their intake via natural sources.

VitaYears™ Memory Support Supplement

This is where we come in. The VitaYears™ Memory Support Supplement not only provides 100 mcg of vitamin B12, it’s also formulated with other brain-boosting ingredients like Bacopa extract and folate.2 While it’s always important to eat well, exercise regularly, and keep stress down to a minimum, supplementing with the right micronutrients can help you achieve your health goals and make the rest of your life the best of your life.

1 Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin B12. Dietary reference intakes for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 1998:306-356; see also, Healton EB, Savage DG, Brust JC, Garrett TJ, Lindenbaum J. Neurologic aspects of cobalamin deficiency. Medicine (Baltimore). 1991;70(4):229-245.

2 Bryan J, Calvaresi E, Hughes D. Short-term folate, vitamin B-12 or vitamin B-6 supplementation slightly affects memory performance but not mood in women of various ages. J Nutr. 2002 Jun;132(6):1345-56; see also, Morgan A, Stevens J. Does Bacopa monnieri Improve Memory Performance in Older Persons? Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Trial. J Altern Complem Med. 2010; 16(7): 753–759.