According to a recent large study, low levels of folate (vitamin B9) in the blood may be a sign for increased risk of dementia and death from any cause in older people (aged 60-75 years).
The researchers based this conclusion on the data from 27.188 participants, who had no dementia for at least 10 years before the study. The levels of folate of participants were monitored from 2013 to the end of 2017 for a diagnosis of dementia.
From all participants around 13% (3.418) had folate deficiency. Their folate blood levels were below 4.4 ng/ml.
After correcting for influential factors, such as diabetes, depression, cognitive decline, vitamin B12 deficiency, smoking and the use of folic acid supplements, the researchers found that the folate deficient participants were 68% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia and nearly 3 times as likely to die from any cause.
The researchers highlight that their study is observational and therefore can’t state that low levels of folate cause dementia. They assume that folate deficiency might affect homocysteine levels and therefore the vascular risk of dementia and/or compromise DNA repair of neurons. The last one will lead to a greater vulnerability of neurons to oxidative damage, which in its turn might accelarate brain cell aging and damage.
Moreover, the researchers don’t exclude that low levels of folate might be a consequence of dementia.
One way and another, monitoring your levels of folate while getting older might help to track the first signs of internal damage and to do something about it on time!
Curious? HERE is the source