B12 Boost: Could This Simple Vitamin Be Your Shield Against Alzheimer’s?

Did you know that vitamin B12 plays an important role in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s? That’s right, a seven-year study in Sweden that focused on people aged 65 to 79 discovered that individuals with the lowest levels of B12 had the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s. So, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin B12, especially as you age and your body’s ability to absorb the nutrient from food decreases.

What exactly is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a critical role in maintaining brain health, nerve function and the formation of red blood cells. It is naturally present in animal-based foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy products, and fish. The body requires only a small amount of this nutrient each day, but since it is water-soluble, it needs to be replenished regularly because it’s not stored in the body.

As we age, our body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food decreases, which can lead to deficiency. This deficiency can cause various symptoms like fatigue, weakness, memory loss, and depression, which can eventually contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, it’s essential to consume an adequate amount of B12 to maintain a healthy cognitive function.

How does vitamin B12 affect Alzheimer’s risk?

Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in maintaining nerve cell health, and a deficiency can cause damage to the nerves that can eventually lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this, researchers believe that homocysteine, an amino acid linked to cognitive decline and brain atrophy, is also involved in increasing Alzheimer’s risk. Vitamin B12 helps in converting homocysteine into other essential amino acids, thus preventing high levels of homocysteine in the bloodstream.

However, the relation between vitamin B12 and Alzheimer’s risk needs further research. According to Dr. Babak Hooshmand, MD, MSc, with Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, “Our findings show the need for further research on the role of vitamin B12 as a marker for identifying people who are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Low levels of vitamin B12 are surprisingly common in the elderly.”

How can you ensure adequate vitamin B12 intake?

Since the body’s ability to absorb B12 from food decreases with age, it’s essential to pay attention to your daily intake. There are several ways to ensure you get enough vitamin B12:

1. Include B12-rich foods in your diet

Consuming animal-based foods like meats, eggs, milk, and fish can provide you with the necessary B12. However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can opt for B12-fortified cereals and plant-based milk alternatives.

2. Take B12 supplements

If you’re concerned about not consuming enough B12 from food, consider taking a B12 supplement. The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms (mcg), and most supplements offer more than this amount.

3. Consider B12 injections

For some individuals, B12 injections may be necessary to get enough of this essential vitamin, especially if they have difficulty absorbing it from food. Consult your doctor to determine if injections are appropriate for you.

4. Get your B12 levels checked regularly

Monitoring your vitamin B12 levels through regular testing can help you identify a deficiency early and take the necessary steps to correct it.


Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that is vital for maintaining brain health and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As you grow older, it becomes increasingly important to ensure an adequate intake of B12 to support cognitive function and overall health. Be proactive about your health and consult with your doctor to develop a plan for incorporating vitamin B12 into your diet, whether through food, supplements, or injections.