How B Vitamins Support Mild Memory Problems Associated with Aging‡
In this blog, we will discuss the three B-vitamins and their potential benefits with mild memory problems associated with aging.‡
B Vitamins have diverse functions, ranging from red blood cell function (vitamin B12) to hair, skin and nail health (biotin). There is new research suggesting their potential involvement of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 in supporting in mild memory problems associated with aging.1 According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, cognitive decline is a normal process that occurs during aging, however there may be certain non-normal health aspects that may contribute to cognitive decline. The Council for Responsible Nutrition discussed research that found that three B vitamins have potential relevance to cognitive health: vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin).1
The reason why these three B vitamins have drawn attention is partly because of their role in metabolizing the amino acid homocysteine. Although there remains insufficient reliable evidence to connect homocysteine to cognitive decline, observational studies have suggested a correlation between increased levels of serum homocysteine and cognitive decline.1
More importantly, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 support a process called methylation. Methylation uses homocysteine to create building blocks for neurotransmitters that enable neurons to communicate.1
Now, let's talk about the basics: What are B Vitamins? Where can you find them naturally? Keep reading to find out!
What Are B-Vitamins?
Optimal nutrition is a fundamental factor when it comes to supporting memory. B vitamins are a small but essential part of a healthy diet. B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that they are readily used by the body and any excess is naturally excreted by the body. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, B vitamins are not stored in the body for later use.
So exactly what vitamins make up the vitamin B family? Well, let's take a closer look. This vitamin family is comprised of about eight vitamins that include B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folate) and B12 (Methocobalamin).
The role the B vitamins play may be something you are already familiar with. When you think of B vitamins, you may immediately think “energy”. If so, then you are on the right track! Various B vitamins play a role in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and in the metabolism of fats and protein.2 Some are essential for hemoglobin, which is the protein found in our red blood cells.3
As you can see, these busy Bs really work hard. So, where can you find these B-eautiful nutrients? B vitamins are naturally found in a variety of foods, including fortified foods. Leafy greens, legumes (black, pinto, edamame and lentils), nutritional and brewer's yeast, meats like pork, chicken, turkey, beef and liver are rich in a variety of B vitamins. So are cooked eggs, milk and yogurt, oysters, mussels and clams. Even cereals and other grains have been fortified with B vitamins.4‡
Balancing Your Vitamin B's
Balancing the combination of functionally interrelated B vitamins can also be obtained through dietary supplementation, such as with Pure Encapsulations® B-Complex Plus which includes B1, B2, B3, B6, B7 (biotin), B12 and folate. Our complex includes Metafolin® L-5-MTHF, a methylated, active form of folate, as well as methylated vitamin B12.
Why is this important for you?
- Activated and methylated forms of Vitamin B12 and folate can be utilized directly, without the body needing to convert them to an active or readily usable form.
- Vitamins like folate, vitamin B6 and B12 are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and maintaining healthy nerve cells.5,6,7‡
- This comprehensive B vitamin supplement supports many levels of health including healthy cognitive function as well as memory, mood, metabolism and emotional well-being.‡
- Biotin also supports the integrity of the skin and hair.8,9‡
If you are looking for a B-Complex liquid that combines B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12 in a great-tasting liquid form, then you may want to consider trying Pure Encapsulations® B-Complex liquid.
What Is the MTHFR Polymorphism?
What about individuals with MTHFR polymorphisms? A common genetic variation in the MTHFR gene, which affects the majority of Americans, makes it slightly more difficult to convert the inactive form of folic acid into 5-MTHF, the usable or active form of folate.10 Individuals with the variant should consider using 5-MTHF instead of folic acid. You can learn more about this polymorphism here.
We've formulated most of our folate-containing products to include folate as MetaFolin, the universally metabolized form of folate. For example, our PureGenomics® B-Complex was specifically formulated for those with these common genetic polymorphisms and provides 800 mcg of folate as MetaFolin®. That's not all! Our B12 Folate is another example of a product we offer that was formulated to also include 800 mcg of folate as MetaFolin to provide this essential vitamin in a metabolized form for those requiring assistance with the methylation process of these nutrients.‡
New science suggests that folate and folic acid are B vitamins that play important roles in cognitive health and may play a beneficial role in mild memory problems associated with aging. This is particularly good to know, because that means that those with the MTHFR genetic polymorphism can receive the same benefits of folate and folic acid as those without the mutation.‡
Sources of Vitamin B6
Needing some nervous system support? Well, we've got you covered. This next featured B Vitamin was also one of the B Vitamins found to help support cognitive health as individuals age. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in nerve impulse transmissions and healthy functioning of the nervous system.‡
Some food sources rich in pyridoxine or Vitamin B6 include protein rich foods such as chicken, turkey, beef, salmon and cheese. Other key dietary contributors of this B vitamin include plant sources like bananas, potatoes, carrots, raisins, nuts, tofu, fortified cereals and rice.12,13
If you are looking to fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet when it comes to B6, you may want to consider discussing with your healthcare practitioner if Pure Encapsulations®' B6 Complex dietary supplement is the right fit for you. Our B6 Complex offers B6 as both pyridoxine and the activated form pyridoxal-5-phosphate. With enhanced B6, this formula promotes healthy, nerve and metabolic functions.14,15‡
What Is PQQ?
Have you ever heard of PQQ? Though not a true B vitamin, PQQ, or pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium salt, provides B vitamin-like activity with unique antioxidant properties.
What Makes PQQ So Unique?
- Studies indicate significant support for cognitive function, including increased cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism.
- Preliminary research suggests that PQQ promotes mitochondrial biogenesis.16
- Ultra B-Complex w/PQQ also contains alpha lipoic acid and luteolin, which are both antioxidants that support neuronal health.17 Alpha lipoic acid provides additional support for mitochondrial energy use.‡
If you are looking for unique nutrient support, then an enhanced B-complex is an important consideration at all stages of life but especially as we age. Pure Encapsulations®' Ultra B-Complex w/PQQ provides continued support for cellular energy and nerve health as well as help to maintain cytokine balance.‡
It is important to consider that more than over 40% of US adults aged 55 and older are regular users of dietary supplements and 26% of supplement users aged 55 and over reported being regular users of vitamins B6, B9 and B12 dietary supplements. This information has been reported by the 2021 Council for Responsible Nutrition Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, which was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.18
Healthy Lifestyle Factors for the Aging Mind
Aging is a natural process, and it's impossible to avoid it, but there are many ways to promote healthy aging.
A healthy mind is also exercised by physical activity, such as walking, dancing, stretching, biking, swimming or any activity that gets your body up and moving. Keeping your muscles and bones healthy, supports your balance and strength.19 If you are active, you may be more likely to get out of the house and engage in these activities with a friend or a group at the gym or local community center.19 Physical activity along with a healthy diet, can also support healthy glucose, blood lipid metabolism and blood pressure.19
Keep your mind busy with activities that you enjoy or perhaps would like to learn. It is never too late to learn to play the piano or even the newest online word or number puzzle. If you like to crochet, bake or paint, perhaps think about teaching a class at your local library or senior center. Even connecting with your grandchildren to teach them these fine crafts would be beneficial to you both.
Maintain Your Medical Appointments
Always keep those appointments with your healthcare practitioner. If you have questions in between your visits, then pick up the phone to share your concerns. Since life is busy, try writing important dates down on a calendar or set alarms in your cell to keep track of them.
Manage your stress and sit outside and enjoy nature's beauty. Breathe in the warm fresh air and let the buzzing of the bees and the chirping of the birds, transport you to a place of serenity.
Support Your Cognitive Health as You Age‡
Here at Pure Encapsulations®, we believe in following the most credible and up-to-date research. It's our goal to bring that research to you in a blog so that you have access to this new knowledge and comfort with our pure goodness products.‡ That way, you and your healthcare practitioner can have a conversation and decide which products are right to meet your unique nutritional needs. We have a wide variety of B Vitamins to choose from that may help support your cognitive health and help with those mild memory problems associated with aging. Give your brain a break and check out our B Vitamins today!
- Council for Responsible Nutrition. Healthcare Cost Savings Derived From Slowing Cognitive Decline with the Use of B Vitamins. 2020. https://www.crnusa.org/sites/default/files/HCCS/07-CRN-Supplements-to-Savings-2022-Cognitive-BVitamins.pdf
- Smulders YM, et al. Br J Haematol. 2006 Mar;132(5):623-9
- Haiden N, et al. Pediatrics. 2006 Jul;118(1):180-8
- 15 Healthy Foods High in B Vitamins. (2018, October 11). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9
- Douaud G, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 4;110(23):9523-8.
- Van Asselt DZ, et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Dec;56(12):M775-9.
- Loria-Kohen V, et al. Nutr Hosp. 2013 May/Jun;28(3):807-15.
- Chen AC, et al. N Engl J Med. 2015 Oct 22;373(17):1618-26.
- Isoda K, et al. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Feb;31(2):309-11
- Chita DS, et al. Brain Sci. 2020 Jul 24;10(8):476. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10080476. PMID: 32722170; PMCID: PMC7463445.
- CDC. (2020, March 5). MTHFR Gene and Folic Acid. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/mthfr-gene-and-folic-acid.html
- What Are B-Vitamins? (n.d.). Www.eatright.org. https://www.eatright.org/health/essential-nutrients/vitamins/what-are-b-vitamins-and-folate
- National Institutes of Health. (2017). Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin B6. Nih.gov. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminB6-healthprofessional/
- Schnyder G, et al. JAMA. 2002 Aug 28;288(8):973-9.
- Maebashi M, et al. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 1993. 14(3); 211-218
- Harris CB, et al. Nutr Biochem. 2013 Dec;24(12):2076-84
- Jones W, et al. Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Jul 1;33(1):83-93
- Supplements to Savings: U.S. Health Care Cost Savings from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements, 2022–2030, Frost & Sullivan/CRN Foundation, www.SupplementstoSavings.org, Ipsos. 2021 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Available at https://www.crnusa.org/resources/type/consumer-data
- Cognitive Health and Older Adults. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults#mind