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B Vitamins and Mental Health? - Homocysteine is the word

Great news! The research team at Oxford University finally proved what naturopaths have been advising for decades: good nutrition and especially B vitamins can indeed help to prevent and slow down brain shrinkage in Alzheimer’s disease.

But how do they help? And what else can we do to prevent this ungodly disease? These questions are particularly important for those who have Alzheimer’s in the family history.

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B vitamins are important for nerve health in general.

The entire central nervous system and therefore the brain is made up of nerve cells. B vitamins are very important for nerve health in general. But pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9) and cobalamin (B12) also have a special, re-cycling role in the metabolic system: Every cell in our body serve like a small factory: making energy, building and repairing little organelles inside, reproducing themselves, etc.

Fatigued grandfather sleeping outside in a chair As B vitamins play a huge part in energy production, the first sign of deficiency is usually fatigue.

In the meantime they produce by-products that need to be re-cycled, otherwise they build up in our system and cause damage. One of these by-products is Homocysteine, a potent free-radical and inflammation promoter that causes damage inside the blood vessels, causing hardening and narrowing of the arteries – those also that supply the brain with nutrients. Read on

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The three B vitamins mentioned above help to re-cycle Homocysteine and make it harmless in a process called Methilation pathway, thus preventing arterial damage, reducing brain shrinkage in Alzheimer’s Disease patients.

B vitamins are found in un-altered wholegrains and dark green vegetables. However, most of them are destroyed by milling, processing and heat; therefore taking them in supplement form is a good idea. Always look for a complex supplement, rather than single B vitamins, as they work in synergy.

B vitamins are found in dark green vegetables.

In some digestive problems however the body is unable to absorb or activate B vitamins and Homocysteine build up can be detected. As B vitamins play a huge part in energy production, the first sign of deficiency is usually fatigue. In these cases Nutritional therapy can help to investigate and offer solutions to the problem.


A naturopathic treatment always starts with a thorough investigation to find the root of the problem, whatever the health concern may be. We are all very individual: as there are no two snowflakes alike, neither are any two human bodies. Once we found the cause, with a tailor made menu plan and herbal supplement regime your body can be gently ushered back to health - without side effects.

Find out more about Nutritional Therapy.

Check out my Apple-berry-nut crumble recipe for a tasty way of boosting brain function.

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