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Folic acid improves cognitive function

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Folic acid supplementation may substantially improve the cognitive function for older adults, according to new research.

Folic acid supplementation may substantially improve the cognitive function for older adults, according to new research.

Dutch researchers randomly assigned 818 older people 800 micrograms daily oral folic acid supplementation or placebo for three years. They found that cognitive functions such as memory and information processing speed improved in adults given folic acid compared with placebo.

Authors of the study, published in The Lancet, said: 'We have shown that three year folic acid supplementation improves performance on tests that measure information processing speed and memory, domains that are known to decline with age. [Our study was conducted] in older adults with raised total homocysteine concentrations.'

They recommend similar trials be conducted in other populations to provide greater insight into the clinical relevance of folic acid supplementation, such as populations with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Lancet (2007) 369: 208-16

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