Twenty percent of older adults are deficient in folate (vitamin B9). Researchers examined over twenty-seven thousand medical records of men and women between 60 and 75.

The Study None of them were previously diagnosed with dementia. For four years, the researchers monitored the records for any diagnosis of dementia or death. Over 3,400 of them were deficient in folate.

At the end of the study, of those 3,400-plus, dementia was noted almost 8 per 10,000 person-years. The measurement of person-years accounts for both the number of people and the amount of time each person spends in the study. If ten thousand people spent one year in a study, the metric of 10,000 person-years would be used.

Death was observed at just under 20 per 10,000 person-years. Those not folate deficient usually see rates of just over 4 per 10,000 person-hours for dementia and just over 5 for death.

Options? Natural sources for folate can be found with an easy Google search. WebMD lists beef liver, dark leafy greens, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), asparagus, broccoli, oranges, bananas, and eggs as foods high in folates.

Confusion Vitamin B9 sometimes appears as folate or folic acid on labels. Folate is the natural vitamin, and folic acid is the synthetic one. Vitamin B9 is not stored in the body and must be replenished daily.

People with vitamin B9 deficiency usually have fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Changes in the hair, nails, and skin might also be symptoms. In addition, B9 is critical for heart health, and palpitations might also be a sign of B9 deficiency.


This study was done by researching health records. Therefore, there was no cause-and-effect analysis done. Folate deficiency may or may not be a pathway to dementia, but the data is alarming and worth consideration.

Vitamin B9 is needed in many aspects of our bodies’ health. Another B vitamin, B12, mimics Alzheimer’s disease. It would not be a hard jump to assume that another B vitamin might also be a contributing pathway to dementia. And it is an easy test to assist in diagnosing and treating dementia.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –

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