Highlights From The Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging

Highlights From The Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA study) – 2010

Source: Online journal Public Library of Science ONE

Author: D Smith et al – Oxford University England

Study Group - 168 individuals over 70 years old with mild cognitive impairment.

Treatment Group were given daily supplementation the following B-vitamins:

  • folic acid - 800 mcg
  • vitamin B12 - 500 mcg and
  • vitamin B6 - 20 mg/d

The Placebo Group got the dummy pill

Main outcome measured - change in rate of whole brain atrophy on MRI


  1. On average, the B vitamin supplementation was shown to slow the rate of brain atrophy by 30 percent, and in some cases patients experienced reductions as high as 53 percent.
  2. A greater rate of atrophy was associated with a lower cognitive test scores.

How Do B- vitamins Slow Brain Atrophy and Preserve Brain Function:

  1. Folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin  B12 – prevent a rise in homocysteine, which is known to damage brain cells and brain blood vessels. Higher homocysteine levels is linked to accelerated brain atrophy in many studies
  2. These B- vitamins are also required for the brain to make certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, which enable us to have normal cognition, attention, memory, focus and other important aspects of healthy brain function.

The Aging Brain

In the elderly, the brain shows progressive atrophy.

Atrophy occurs even in cognitively healthy subjects, but is much accelerated in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease

An intermediate rate of atrophy is found in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

  • People over 60 yrs without MCI normally have brain shrinkage of approximately 0.5 % per year.
  • Individuals showing MCI normally show a brain atrophy rate that is twice as fast, at approximately 1% per year
  • Alzheimer's patients can lose 2.5 % of brain volume per year

My Recommendation (Prevention) For Lifelong Healthy Brain Function:

  1. Take a High Potency Multiple Vitamin and Mineral that is enriched with antioxidants and a B-50 Complex  (e.g. Adeeva Multiple Vitamin and Mineral)
  2. Take an Essential Fatty Acid Supplement that contains 400 mg each of fish, flaxseed and borage oil -3 caplets per day (e.g. Adeeva Nature’s Essential Oils), and eat fish-twice per week
  3. After age 55 take Adeeva Memory Support Complex to maintain optimal levels of the memory chemical (neurotransmitter) acetylcholine

Other Lifestyle Strategies Of Importance

  • Limit Alcohol consumption, as it kills nerve cells
  • Avoid all Recreational drugs
  • No Smoking
  • Avoid High animal fat foods as they clog brain blood vessels with cholesterol deposits (fish is the exception)
  • Exercise Regularly to increase brain blood flow
  • Get Adequate Sleep

Keep your mind active and Learn new things such as:

Dance lessons

Ping pong

Learning a Musical Instrument

Learning a Foreign language

Learn things that are outside your normal realm of knowledge

I also highly recommend that you Read the Book by Dr Daniel Amen: Change Your Brain Change Your Life

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