New evidence shows you should eat things high in Vitamin B9, aka Folate, to reduce your chances of dementia.

Health Stuff TO Know

Doctor's Opinion:

New research and data are showing that low folate and low B-12 levels in your bloodstream are associated with higher incidences of dementia.

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Keep an eye on your Folate and B-12Health Stuff TO Know

The Doctor's Main Points:

It's important that you understand that as you get older: your levels of folate, aka B-9, and B-12 decrease. As the concentration of these B Vitamins is reduced, your body is more susceptible to the ravages of dementia.

Because the new data is showing, quite clearly, that low levels of B Vitamins are associated with increased chances of dementia, it becomes quite important that you keep track of their levels in your blood.

Reliable detection and treatment of vitamin deficiency could reduce the risk of deficiency-related disability in old age. Dr. Robert Clarke, et al.

Here's what to do next:

Get Tested

  1. Speak to your doctor or healthcare team about getting blood tests that measure your folate and B-12 levels.
  • Normal ranges of Folate (Folic Acid) are: Adults - 2-20 ng/mL, 2-20 μg/L, or 4.5-45.3 nmol/L
  • Normal ranges of B-12 should be higher than 300 pg/ml but lower than 950 pg/ml.

Get Treated

Understand that certain medicines can cause B-12 deficiencies.

  • Metformin and certain Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) can cause a reduction in your B-12 levels.

Understand that certain medicines can cause folate deficiencies.

  • Bactrim & Dilantin are two common medicines that can cause a reduction in your folic acid levels.

If your blood results show low levels of B-12 and/or folic acid--don't panic!

  1. Eating green leafy veggies, nuts, seafood, and most dairy products can naturally raise your levels of folate & B-12.
  2. You can also get shots 'injections' of B-12. And generally, one shot is good for 6 months.

The Big Picture:

There's actually a lot you can do to reduce your risk of dementia. It's important to keep in mind that you can control some nutritional and social deficits.

Keep a tight eye on your Vitamin B levels.

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Health Stuff TO Know provides digestible health & medical news from doctors. Expert information on the day's top health news. Dr. Puja Uppal is a board-certified physician. Dr. Uppal is Chief Medical Officer of Health Stuff TO Know & ThinkHealthy

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