Homocysteine, an amino acid, is best known for being a predictor of atherosclerosis. The damage that this amino acid does on blood vessels of the heart also seems to have a negative impact on the delivery of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain. The relationship between homocysteine levels and cognitive function was explored in a study, recently published in the December 2008 issue of Clinical Nutrition, and a link between elevated levels of homocysteine and cognitive decline was seen.

Ninety-nine Japanese men and women, whose average age was 75 and who did not take vitamin supplements, were evaluated for cognitive function and their blood measured for homocysteine, folic acid, and B12 levels. Researchers found that low folic acid and B12 levels correlated with high homocysteine levels. Aging, high homocysteine levels, low folic acid, and B12 levels are all associated with poor cognition. It was also found that low folic acid and B12 levels were each independently associated with cognitive decline.

Supplementation with B12 and folic acid can help lower homocysteine levels and may help prevent cognitive decline with age. Designs for Health’s Homocysteine Supreme is a superior formula which provides two forms of readily usable folic acid, B12 (in the form of methylcobalamin), plus other nutrients, such as trimethylglycine (TMG), to effectively lower homocysteine levels.

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