Folic acid or Vitamin B9 has been known to help in the brain development of foetus and infants for a long time now. Due to this reason it is administered to pregnant women. A new study conducted by scientists at Wageningen University, Netherlands has proposed that this vitamin can slow down the cognitive decline in middle-aged subjects.
The three year long study involved 818 subjects (both men and women) with increased levels of homocysteine. This amino acid present in blood, has been shown to be associated with heart disease and stroke The study group was administered 800 micrograms of folic acid or a placebo for the entire study period.
After the test data was analysed it was found that those who received folic acid showed 5.4 years younger in memory, 2.0 years younger in information processing, and 1.9 years younger in sensory motor speed compared with those who received a placebo. This can be especially useful when treating patients with Alzheimer's disease. The role of vitamins B6 and B12 are also being investigated for reducing the level of homocysteine in blood.