Folic acid may reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease according to new medical study

Folic acid may reduce risk of Alzheimer's as researchers suggest over 65's should be taking triple the recommended amount

Folic acid may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's
(Image credit: Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty)

Folic acid may reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to scientific study. The news comes alongside increasing evidence that the vitamin is vital to avoid many chronic illnesses; especially as we age.

The importance of staying healthy as we get older is well documented. In fact, a third of all midlife people have one of these chronic health conditions.

One of the most devastating illnesses to strike as people get older is of course Alzheimer's disease. In some positive news, however, it seems that an increase in folic acid can not only stave off Alzheimer's disease—but a whole load of other chronic illnesses too.

A study published in the Frontiers In Neuroscience journal found that in comparison to the healthy people tested, Alzheimer's patients had lower levels of folate (the natural form of folic acid/vitamin B9). This indicates that folate deficiency/possible deficiency may increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

In other words; the small change of ensuring that you have enough folate/folic acid in your diet, might well help you fight the risk of developing the devastating disease.

If that's not enough to get you running to the supplement aisle as fast as you can, being deficient in the important vitamin is actually associated with many more chronic illnesses.

Traditionally, when people think of folic acid, they think of its importance in terms of expectant mothers. However, evidence published in the Reumatologia journal points to it also being a vital element in helping the body break down homocysteine. 

This is a compound made when proteins are digested and high levels are linked to damaged blood vessels, reduced blood flow and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

The supplement also reduces inflammation which is associated with chronic conditions including arthritis and type 2 diabetes.

So how do you avoid a folate deficiency? Well, apart from taking a folic acid supplement there are plenty of folate filled foods like dark green veg, nuts, asparagus, citrus fruits, eggs and legumes.