Folic Acid :: Folic acid improves memory and brain power of ageing people

Folic acid supplements can improve the memory and brain power of ageing brains. Men and women aged 50 to 70 who took daily supplements had similar mental abilities to contemporaries almost five years younger, The Lancet study found.

But experts said this benefit must be balanced against other risks – an increase in folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency in older people. This type of anaemia can cause serious health problems, like nerve damage.

Indeed, the Food Standards Agency recently said this risk should be taken into account should the UK want to routinely add folic acid to foods such as bread as a public health measure to prevent birth defects.

Currently only women planning to conceive are currently advised to take folic acid.

Both folic acid and vitamin B12 are essential for good health and good levels can be achieved by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Green vegetables are rich in folic acid, while B12 is found in foods such as eggs and meat.

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