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These Vitamins May Prevent Dementia, Studies Show

These five vitamins may help rescue the risk of dementia. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

According to the World Health Organization, more than 55 million people worldwide live with dementia, which is a general term that describes deterioration in cognitive function and decline in mental abilities like thought process. Dementia mostly affects older folks over the age of 65, but it's not a natural part of aging and the condition can occur in younger people as well. There's no cure for the disorder, but some studies show that certain vitamins may help slow the onset and and progression. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with   Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D., a professor of public health at New Mexico State University who shares five vitamins that can help reduce the risk of dementia. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Vitamin D

woman taking vitamin D3

Dr. Khubchandani says, "Possibly one of the most debated vitamins for a variety of disorders including Dementia, there is ever evolving evidence to show the benefits of Vitamin D in preventing dementia or reducing the risk. Vitamin D, its receptors, and enzymes that help it work are present widely across the human brain. In the brain, Vitamin D increases the removal of plaques that cause toxicity leading to dementia.  Also, Vitamin helps maintain brain blood vessel function and reduce stroke risk (a disease that is also linked to dementia). The only challenge is reverse causation (i.e., does aging/dementia cause an unhealthy diet with lower consumption of vitamin D or vice versa)."


Vitamin E

Smiling woman taking a pill.

Dr. Khubchandani tells us, "This is another vitamin extensively researched for its function and effect on many body organs. Studies show that the antioxidant properties of Vitamin E may reduce toxic oxidative stress and related cell damaging effects on the body organs such as the brain. However, additional evidence now suggests that Vitamin E can also help with gene expression, electric signal transmission in the body, and neuroprotection. Due to reverse causation and lack of robust studies, the effects may be inconclusive according to some."


Folic Acid/ Vitamin B

folic acid

According to Dr. Khubchandani, "Some studies show that folic acid alone provides neuroprotective effects, whereas others suggest folic acid along with other types of Vitamin B may prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia. Essentially, various types of B vitamins help reduce the blood levels of biochemical markers (e.g., homocysteine) that are toxic or promote clot formation or disrupt blood vessel function. These effects then help the brain function without blood flow obstruction or tissue toxicity."


Vitamin C

"Vitamin C plays a role in nerve cell/ neuron development, differentiation, maturation, and the formation of the cover of nerve cells," says Dr. Khubchandani. "It also helps with functioning of various neurotransmitters and the antioxidant role is also established. Given these properties it is postulated that Vitamin C has a protective effect on the brain in ensuring proper function and reduction in toxic stress to the brain that is linked with dementia."


Multiple Vitamins

young woman in fair isle turtleneck taking supplement while standing outdoors
Shutterstock / Antonio Guillem

Dr. Khubchandani explains, "Given how individual types and subtypes of vitamins interact and affect the body organs like the brain, it is critical to consume optimum amounts of multiple types of vitamins. Consumption of various types of vitamins especially in those without dementia through natural sources, healthy diet, fruits and vegetables is key to directly improving and maintaining brain function. Also, such consumption may address other body functions that indirectly address brain function or structure." 

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather