We’ve all seen those “little old ladies” that have LITERALLY gotten shorter as they’ve gotten older.
And we all know of someone who used to be BIG and STRONG in their youth… but, in their later years, LOST some of that muscle.
Friend, the SAME thing could be happening to YOU as you age… even if you CAN’T see it.
Because your brain could be getting WEAKER… and SMALLER, too!
It happens to some folks who are a little on the older side… and whose memory begins to fail them.
But this “shrinkage” isn’t necessarily a one-way ticket to tiny brain territory.
There’s something you could do to help keep the BULK in your brain.
You might think you’ve ALREADY got your bases covered by taking the vitamin I’m about to share with you…
But you’ve got to make sure you’re taking the RIGHT version… in the BEST form that your body can use!
Keep reading to find out more.
‘B’ is for BRAIN
Sometime in the past, your heart doc might’ve recommended taking folate (a.k.a. vitamin B9) to help bring down your homocysteine…
As elevated levels of this amino acid have been associated with heart disease and stroke.
But it turns out that there’s ANOTHER benefit to lowering homocysteine levels with folate.
It could help you STAY OUT of the crosshairs for memory loss!
That’s right – elevated homocysteine has ALSO been linked to dementia.
In a 2012 animal study, researchers DEPRIVED one group of subjects of folate… and found both MORE homocysteine and FEWER hippocampal brain cells in the critters, compared to the normally-fed group.
And people with Alzheimer’s disease tend to exhibit higher-than-normal homocysteine levels, too…
But REVERSING one seems to be able to TURN THINGS AROUND for the other!
Because a small trial published in 2012 showed what happened when researchers used B vitamins like folate to lower homocysteine levels by 30% in folks older than 70.
They saw improvements in…
- overall cognitive function
- executive function (including staying focused and following directions)
- episodic memory (being able to recall and tell stories from the past), and
- semantic memory (the “facts and figures” memory, including names and dates).
And in a 2013 clinical trial out of the UK, supplementing with a form of folate called folic acid helped BEAT BACK brain shrinkage in older folks with mild cognitive impairment!
The group that consumed folic acid lost MUCH LESS gray matter in key brain areas associated with neurodegeneration, compared to the placebo group.
No wonder ENRICHING certain foods with folate… and SUPPLEMENTING with folate… has become a priority in helping aging populations save their precious memories.
But you may have heard that folate may not do a thing to boost your memory.
That’s because in studies, it seems to only help those who need it the MOST – those who’ve already started experiencing memory loss!
So, if your mind is still a steel trap… and your homocysteine levels are already low…
This B vitamin might not do much to move the needle when it comes to cognitive function.
Folate appears to work in mysterious ways in the brain… and not all of them necessarily have to do with its ability to reduce homocysteine.
It’s also known as a mood lifter…
And it could help SLASH the frequency of migraine attacks.
It brings powerful anti-inflammatory action to the table… which could be associated with ALL of these brain issues!
Dark leafy greens and spinach are good food sources of folate…
But you don’t really know how much you’re getting every time you fill your plate.
That’s why some folks prefer to take folic acid supplements… so you have COMPLETE CONTROL over the amount.
A clinically studied dose is 0.8 mg (or 800 mcg).
Some experts recommend choosing an “activated folate” or “active folate” supplement instead of folic acid… which could be in a form that’s easier for your body to use.
When it’s in its “active” or “activated” state, folate has already gone through a process known as methylation — also sometimes called “methyl folate,” “L-methylfolate,” or “5-MTHF”.
That helps skip some of the steps your body has to go through to properly metabolize and absorb “raw” folate or folic acid.
For some of us, that’s no problem at all…
But some folks are genetically predisposed to having a hard time absorbing folate or folic acid…
And others may have suppressed liver function or other metabolic issues that could stand in the way of properly converting folate or folic acid into their “active” forms.
A patented form of this “optimized” folic acid is included in some supplements under the name Quatrefolic.
To keeping your brain BIG,
P.S. If you’re a little on the older side, could your B complex be FAILING your brain?