Jun 13, 2010

The Vitamin B12 Shot Every Month and Moseying Down the Path of Life

I am not a believer in predestination. I do believe you can change your future. Or at the very least try and change your future.

Dorothy DeMarco
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Every month Dotty gets a vitamin B12 shot. People often ask, why?

Several years ago I started reading up on all the B vitamins. I learned vitamin B12 deficiency is wide spread especially among the elderly. It is easy to understand why. If you don't eat foods that are rich in vitamin B12 you won't get enough into your body.

I also learned that as you age your brain shrinks. Baby boomers pay attention.

There is no conclusive evidence that taking more vitamin B12 will lower or stop brain shrinkage. I did read a study in the journal Neurology that found that people with higher levels of vitamin B12 were six times less likely to experience brain volume loss.

A simple blood test is all that is needed to check the level of B12 in your system.

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Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that can be found in salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, fruit, dark and green leafy vegetables, high-fat dairy, red meat, organ meat and butter. It is not hard to get. However, people aren't eating correctly so vitamin B12 deficiency is rising.

You should start eating foods rich in B12 or consider getting B12 shots to raise the amount of B12 in your system.

To be honest, I did read a study of 409 adults with probable Alzheimer's disease that "showed no impact on cognition" of high-dose folic acid and vitamin B6 and B12 supplementation over the course of 18 months. In other words, the supplements didn't slow down Alzheimer's disease. Of course, this study focused on supplements, not the B12 shot.

I have read conflicting studies on whether or not vitamin B supplements are in fact "bad" for persons suffering from dementia. These studies did bother me.

As I was making decisions years ago I came to understand that no one body operates in a vacuum. It make simple sense to me that a good diet and exercise would benefit anyone and everyone. We went in that direction.

We eat foods that are rich in vitamins, folic acid, and antioxidants. I am pretty sure that in the last six years that Dotty ate more broccoli and spinach then she did in any other six year period of her life. More fish also.

Here is the link to the article indicating that Vitamin B12 May Protect Against Brain Shrinkage in Baby Boomers. If you are interested in vitamin B3 and how mice do on it you can read this one -- Can Vitamin B3 Reduce Memory Problems (Nicotinamide).

Years ago I decided to get Dotty the B12 shot every month. Did it help? I think it did. One thing for sure it didn't hurt. Now it wasn't the B12 all by itself. I still think exercise is and was the most important single variable. I have high confidence in the Mediterranean Diet. Why not?

I am not a believer in predestination.

I do believe you can change your future. 

Or at the very least try and change your future.

So Dotty and I just moseyed down the path of life. Along the way we tried to do some things that made good common sense. So I know this -- we tried to change our future. I believe we did a pretty good job. But no, I'll never know for certain.

Maybe I should have eaten pizza everyday for breakfast. Who knows?

I actually wrote this article so I wouldn't have to explain to each person that asks why Dotty gets the B12 shot every month. Now I'll just use the link to this article to answer that question.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide.

The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

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