Senior citizens may have greater difficulty than younger people maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12. But those who have higher levels of vitamin B12 in their bloodstreams have a lower likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The research was done in more than 250 Finnish people. At the start of the study none of them had dementia, and all gave blood samples. Seven years later, about 6 percent of the participants were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Those with lower levels of B12 were more likely to have developed dementia.
[Neurology, Oct. 19, 2010]

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. PN
    Reply

    I was told by a pharmacist that B-12 vitamins is not absorbed in the body – making it a useless drug… Only shots of B12 do any good.

  2. MLM
    Reply

    This is a bit misleading. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause Alzheimer-like symptoms. Many people are diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s when they really have a B12 deficiency. A vitamin deficiency is not the same as a disease. When these people are given B12 their symptoms go away.
    Alzheimer’s is real, but there is a lot of misdiagnosis that goes on. If you are concerned that you or someone you know has Alzheimer’s, check for a vitamin B12 deficiency first.

  3. MEV
    Reply

    What is best way to take B12? And how much should one take daily?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: 1 MG IS A VERY HIGH DOSE THAT CAN BE TAKEN IN PILL FORM EVEN BY PEOPLE WHO DON’T ABSORB IT WELL.

  4. dp
    Reply

    All the more reason not to take proton pump inhibitors for GERD. Many people who remain on these particular drugs past an acute episode loose the ability to process vit. B-12 and must take injections for the rest of their lives. Our relative never feels well 4 days after he receives it. So It obviously doesn’t last for a month with him. And yes, he is losing his memory.

  5. R.E.S.
    Reply

    After reading the information about low Vitamin B-12 in blood levels of senior citizens——possibly contributing to Alzheimer’s disease——I did not see any indication of HOW MUCH VITAMIN B 12 we should be taking. My husband and I do take vitamin B-12 daily, but have no idea HOW MUCH we should be taking.
    Can you tell me what is the appropriate amount of B-12 that should be taken daily?

  6. slm
    Reply

    When you take a vitamin that indicates 100% of daily B12 requirement, does this really prevent your getting Alzheimer’s disease?

  7. Paul43
    Reply

    Take a B-12 Supplement everyday—so far so good

  8. vg
    Reply

    Vit B 12- 80% of the tabs sold are regular, 20% sublingual. Does sublingual have any benefit for us seniors? I remember the use to IM shots for folks over 70yrs. I hate to be taking the regular if they are ineffective.
    Many thx

  9. Morning Star
    Reply

    Please advise as to best way to boost B12 levels short of taking injections.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: TAKING HIGH-DOSE PILLS, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN A SUBLINGUAL (UNDER THE TONGUE) FORMULATION, CAN HELP. HIGH DOSE FOR B12 IS ABOUT 1 MILLIGRAM.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.