Vitamin B Deficiency

A deficiency of B-vitamins may cause vascular cognitive impairment, according to a new study.* Research conducted at Tufts University, studied mice doing tasks such as holding on to a wire and walking a beam as well as spatial learning and memory with the Morris water maze. The mice were divided into three groups and fed different diets for 10 weeks. The control groups were fed a normal diet containing B vitamins, while two other groups were fed B-vitamin deficient diets designed to induce high homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is produced when the dietary protein methionine breaks down. High homocysteine levels have been linked with learning impairment and according to blood tests taken during this study, homocysteine levels were seven times greater than those in the control group. The tests also noted that “Mice fed a diet deficient in folate and vitamins B12 and B6 demonstrated significant deficits in spatial learning and memory compared with normal mice.” Aron Troen, PhD. Dr. Troen also noted that “It took longer, on average, for the B-vitamin-deficient mice to maneuver the water maze, compared with controls,” This may be because of observations that mice fed a diet deficient in folate, B12 and B6 had reduced brain capillary length and density. These vascular changes cause cognitive dysfunction, however the brain anatomy appeared normal.

Although further research is required, a diet rich in B-vitamins support and increase metabolism, maintain healthy skin and muscles, enhance immune and nervous system functions, promote cell growth and division and help combat symptoms and causes of stress, depression and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin B is available in Viteyes Complete and Viteyes Multivitamin AREDS Companion.

*Troen AM, Shea-Budgell M, Shukitt-Hale B, Smith DE, Selhub J, Rosenberg IH. “B-vitamin deficiency causes hyperhomocysteinemia and vascular cognitive impairment in mice.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2008 (Aug. 26); 105 (34): 12474-12479.

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