low levels of folic acid are associated with dementia and all-cause mortality

Folic acid is a safe, inexpensive vitamin with several health benefits. New research is showing that taking folic acid could help you to live a longer and cognitively healthier life.

This massive study followed 27,188 people between the ages of 60 and 75 who had no pre-existing dementia. The people who were deficient in folic acid were a significant 68% more likely to develop dementia. They were also 298% more likely to die from any cause during the course of the study.

There is a possibility that the dementia causes the folic acid deficiency instead of the other way around. This possibility did not exist for all-cause mortality.

Earlier research also suggests a role for folic acid in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Folic acid is important for lowering homocysteine, and homocysteine is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. That may be just one reason why several studies have found that low levels of folic acid seem to be linked to higher risk of Alzheimer’s. One study found that seniors who get the most folic acid have the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s (Arch Neurol 2007;64:86-92).


Evidence-Based Mental Health March 2022; doi:10.1136/ebmental-2021-300309


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