Here is yet another B vitamin study raising tantalizing links between ingestion of high doses of B vitamins and staving off dementia. Dr. Celeste de Jager of Oxford University, who led the trial, said, "A lot of the time brain changes start in your forties and fifties before you get clinical symptoms. I would think that in middle age people should start thinking about their vitamin levels."
A full scale national (U.K.) trial to establish whether the breakthrough can actually delay the slide into Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia is expected to begin within the next year.
Let's not forget that Dr. Abram Hoffer also endorsed high doses of B vitamins, especially Vitamin B3 (niacin) for not only schizophrenia but also for preventing dementia, although, in the latter case, he did not conduct clinical trials. Anecdotally, he noticed that after he started recommending niacin to his older relatives, over a twenty-five year period, none developed dementia. He recommended a daily 3 grams of niacin or niacinimide for people in their fifties and older, along with an equal amount of vitamin C and a B complex.
The endorsement surrounding B vitamins, and vitamins in general, is rather timid, and vitamins may never become officially sanctioned by the medical profession because, after all, vitamins in their pure form can't be patented. They are low cost. If you want to get serious about getting the best benefits from them, you often have to take megadoses, and that's when it gets tricky. Very few doctors will go on record to endorse high doses of vitamins. Their patients, on the other hand, often take their health concerns into their own hands. Nobel prize winning chemist Dr. Linus Pauling collaborated with Abram Hoffer in research into high dose vitamin C as an adjunct cancer therapy.
Here's what Dr. de Jager has to say. It's hardly bold. To my way of thinking, if you want results, you probably need consistent and high daily doses of certain vitamins targetted to the specific condition.
"People should not begin taking supplements without consulting their doctor because they can have a harmful impact on other conditions such as cancer," she added.
Asked if she would take the vitamins as a precaution, Dr de Jager said: "I would ask the doctor to check my B12 and my folic acid levels for starters."
"I take supplements when I'm feeling a bit low, I don't take one every day but I would certainly have multi-vitamins and B vitamins in my cupboard."
An excellent web site with factual information on vitamins and supplements is www.doctoryourself.com