Cognitive decline is one of the most serious conditions faced by aging seniors. It can rob them of their memory and ability to perform day-to-day tasks independently.
However, a new study has found that seniors may be able to reduce the risk of experiencing cognitive decline through proper nutrition. A diet rich in B vitamins, in particular, may support healthy brain function.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco collected blood samples from 1,800 men and women between the ages of 60 and 101, and tested their levels of B vitamins. These include vitamins B6, B12 and folate. They then gave participants tests designed to measure their mental ability.
They found that seniors who had the highest levels of B vitamins in their blood scored the best on measures of cognitive ability. The association was strongest with higher levels of folate.
Additionally, participants who had low levels of the nutrients were more likely to show signs of mood disorders. Researchers said that this can be a significant contributing factor to cognitive decline in the elderly.