A new study using the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study suggests that low folate (vitamin B-9) intake might increase the risk for memory loss or dementia later in life.
Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in leafy green vegetables, while folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin. Low levels of folate have previously been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers analyzed data on 7,030 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study who did not have memory loss or dementia at the beginning of the study. Data on B vitamin intake was collected from 1993 to 1998 through questionnaires. Throughout the average 5-year follow-up period, 238 cases of memory loss and 69 cases of dementia were identified.
The researchers found that women who consumed folate levels below the recommended daily allowance at the beginning of the study had an increased risk of developing memory loss or dementia. However, there was no link between vitamin B-6 or B-12 and memory loss or dementia risk. The authors concluded that low folate intake might increase the risk for memory loss or dementia later in life. However, additional research is necessary to further evaluate these findings.
Below are the top ten folate-containing foods:
- Tropical Fruits
- Whole Wheat Bread