In 1931, a cure for one type of anemia was discovered. The treatment consisted of the yeast extract which contains an active ingredient, folic acid. Although this vitamin's relationship to anemia has been recognized for more than 50 years, research in the last few decades has firmly established folate role in many body functions - essential for health. These expanded roles for folic acid include the prevention of birth defects, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In the family of nutrition, there are numerous vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and amino acids. It is interesting that of all the nutrients available to us and the hundreds of thousands of published research studies, the only nutrients endorsed by the FDA are folic acid and calcium. Vitamin C still hasn't made the grade.

In a three year study of 818 people over the age of 50, memory and mental agility were all found to be better among the individuals who took just less than 1 mg. of folic acid daily. The group who took a placebo, not folic acid had less mental and short-term memory function. This was reported in the medical journal, Lancet in January 2007.

The most remarkable scientific study done to figure out Alzheimer's was performed in a 15 year period involving over 300 nuns. The nun study was reported by Time magazine in 2001. This was a landmark research study because of the ability to isolate hundreds of variables in a controlled environment. And the nuns allowed the scientists to study their brains after death. The study found that active nuns often faired better mentally than inactive nuns, but that it wasn't absolute. Nuns that prayed a lot or even meditated often did as well as the active nuns. The one and only variable that was across the board, was the nuns deficient in folate had markedly more dementia than the nuns who had sufficient amounts of folate. In fact, the nuns that had high amounts of folic acid had virtually no dementia.

From Time magazine, " The nuns with high folate levels showed little evidence of Alzheimer's-type damage in their brain after death. This makes a certain amount of sense; folate tends to counteract the effects of homocysteine, an amino acid produced in the body that has been implicated in cardiovascular disease. Plenty of folate in the blood would thus mean less chance of stroke--and might even protect brain cells from damage."

In 1998 British researchers announced that Alzheimer's victims have low concentrations in their blood of the nutrient folate, also called folic acid. That's an intriguing result, especially in light of other studies showing that folic acid deficiency plays a role in some forms of mental retardation in children and in cognitive problems in adults. A large study in elderly Canadians found that those individuals with low blood folate levels were more likely to have dementia and be institutionalized.

The following facts are from the Alzheimer's association:

-As many as 5.3 million people in the US are living with Alzheimer's.
-Alzheimer's and dementia triple healthcare costs for Americans age 65 and older.
-Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's.
-Alzheimer's is the 7th leading cause of death.
-The estimated costs of dementia related disease is $148 billion each year.
-Worldwide dementia is soaring as people are living longer.

Alzheimer's disease is devastating on everyone. There are a few studies that contradict the importance of folate as primary in dementia. As with many studies, the variables change, the source of financing may be a factor, as well as who is controlling information.

In my view, the nun study is very impressive, as are all the clinical documentation validating folic acid significance in heart disease. I would recommend everyone over 21, supplementing their diet with 1 mg. of folic acid daily. As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." You may prevent getting Alzheimer's disease by having optimal levels of serum folic acid. As you know, in disease it is difficult to isolate a single factor, such a bacteria or genetic mutation. The cause of dementia may be several factors. Until science can 100% explain the cause of Alzheimer’s, there is reason to consider a nutritional factor as a promising solution.

Author's Bio: 

For 20 years, Dr. Mike treated many celebrities, top CEO's and world-class athletes in Los Angeles. He has toured the country treating colleagues and has been a participating healthcare provider at four Olympic Games. He developed the first U.S. patented for optimal absorption of comprehensive nutrients. Having two decades of successful experience in holistic medicine, Dr. Mike's approach for improving health & performance is safe and effective. If you are in the Atlanta, Georgia area, he would be happy to see you. Contact Dr. Mike at or call (770) 390 - 0012.