Low vitamin B-12 status and risk of cognitive decline in older adults

Supplementation with B12 and folic acid is a very inexpensive approach with high safety and many potential benefits. The problem is that many physicians still use serum B12 to assess status, and while this is a good marker of on the spot B12, it does not really give a good picture of functional status of B12. Personally, I always look at a patient’s MCV (mean corpuscular volume) level on a standard CBC. While most labs don’t consider it normal until it passes 100, I don’t like to see this value much past the lower 90s.

In this study, I think what was surprising was just how much of an effect B12 had on cognitive decline. Higher levels of MMA or homocysteine (markers of functional B12 status) led to a 50% greater risk of congitive decline. That’s a massive difference.

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James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.