Recently, scientists questioned whether the vitamin B12 could reduce the risk of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. Alzheimerâ€™s disease is a brain disorder in which a person suffers from serious memory loss. Usually, people develop this disease when they are older, and 50% of the population over 85 years old has this disease. More than 5.3 million people in the United States suffer with this brutal disease, and it is very hard for both them and their family and friends to deal with. There are many stages, or phases, of this disease, and as the years go by, the worst the disease gets. Â In the beginning, people may feel that they are forgetting things or facts more often than usual. Then, people begin to forget names, and they frequently forget what they have just read or done. They also begin to misplace objects. As the disease worsens, people have great difficulty performing tasks such as paying bills, and then is goes downhill from there. Eventually, the disease gets so bad that within a few years, people may forget how to do everyday task such as brushing their teeth, combing their hair, getting dressed, eating, going to the bathroom, or walking. They also forget who their loved ones are, and that is one of the worst parts of the disease, for both the patient and their friends and family.
Alzheimerâ€™s is caused by the decreasing number of brain cells in a personâ€™s head. Many of these brain cells have important jobs such as learning and remembering, and when they die, part of that job is lost. There is not a treatment for this disease yet, and that is one of the reasons why it is so brutal. But, scientists recently showed in a 7 year study that the Vitamin B12 might be able to lower the risk of a personâ€™s likelihood of getting this disease.
Vitamin B12 is very important for your body because it is needed for the formation of red blood cells, and if you donâ€™t get enough of it in your diet, you could develop anemia. You also need Vitamin B12 to process fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, and to maintain the nervous system. Vitamin B12 could be found in meat, fish, dairy, whole grain cereal or bread, egg yokes, or yeast.
In 2003, researchers took 271 Finnish people, who did not have dementia, and took blood samples from them. These peopleâ€™s ages ranged from 65- 79. During this 7 year span, 17 people, about 6%, were diagnosed with Alzheimerâ€™s. Researchers observed each of the peopleâ€™s blood samples and looked at many variables. One variable was called homocysteine. If people have high homocysteine levels in their body, it most likely means that they have something wrong with their body, and it could be associated with Alzheimerâ€™s disease, or other medical conditions such as blood clots, hardening of the arteries, heart attacks, or strokes. Researchers also observed the amount of holotranscobalamin, which is the active part in the B12 vitamin, in the Finnish peopleâ€™s bodies.
At the end of the experiment, scientists learned that â€śfor each micromolar increase in the concentration of homocysteine, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increased by 16 percent whereas each picomolar, Â increase in concentration of the active form of vitamin B12 reduced risk by two percent.â€ť Picolmolar is a measurement which is one trillionth of a mole. What this means is the more homocysteine in a personâ€™s body, the greater the risk that person has of getting the disease. However, the more holotranscobalamin, or B12, the person has in his body, his risk of getting Alzhemierâ€™s decreases by 2%. That shows you that B12 actually could help in preventing Alzheimerâ€™s. Yet, scientists still need to do more tests before making a final decision and making it final that B12 could really help.
Here are some questions you could research:
How can people prevent Alzheimerâ€™s?Â Are there any other vitamins or foods that could prevent Alzheimerâ€™s?Â What factors could contribute to Alzheimerâ€™s?Â Where did Alzheimerâ€™s get its name from?Â Is there any particular region in the world where the number of people with Alzheimerâ€™s is high?Â When Was Alzheimerâ€™s fist discovered and how?