Effects of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 on Cognitive function and Inflammation

Effects of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 on Cognitive function and Inflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation has a positive therapeutic effect in AD patients who were not on a folic acid-fortified diet

Low serum vitamin B12 and Folic Acid levels are associated with neurodegenerative disease and cognitive impairment. Recent studies revealed that the combination of oral folic acid plus vitamin B12 in MCI elderly can significantly improve cognitive performance and reduce the levels of inflammatory cytokines in human peripheral blood. Now a new study aimed to evaluate the combined action of folic acid and vit B12 supplementation on cognitive performance and inflammation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

In this study patients (n=120) diagnosed clinically as probable AD and in stable condition from Tianjin Key Laboratory of Cerebrovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Individuals were randomly divided into the intervention group (n=60, folic acid 1.2 mg/d + vitamin B12 50 µg/d) and the placebo group (n=60). Cognitive performance, blood folate, vit B12, one carbon cycle metabolite, and inflammatory cytokine levels were measured at baseline and after 6 months. The data were analyzed using linear mixed models for repeated measures.

A total of 101 participants (51 in the intervention group and 50 in the placebo group) completed the trial. Folic acid plus vitamin B12 supplementation had a beneficial effect on the MoCA total scores (P=0.029), naming scores (P=0.013), orientation scores (P=0.004), and ADAS-Cog domain score of attention (P=0.008), as compared to those of the control subjects. Moreover, supplementation significantly increased plasma SAM (P<0.001) and SAM/SAH (P<0.001), and significantly decreased the levels of serum Hcy (P<0.001), plasma SAH (P<0.001), and serum TNFα (P<0.001) compared to in the control subjects.

Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation showed a positive therapeutic effect in AD patients who were not on a folic acid-fortified diet. The findings of this study help to delineate nutrient intervention as far as public health management for the prevention of dementia is concerned.

Source: Chen, H., Liu, S., Ge, B. et al. Effects of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 Supplementation on Cognitive Impairment and Inflammation in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Randomized, Single-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Prev Alzheimers Dis (2021). https://doi.org/10.14283/jpad.2021.22

Image: Skylla Pharmaceuticals