Short-term folate, vitamin B-12 or vitamin B-6 supplementation slightly affects memory performance but not mood in women of various ages

J Nutr. 2002 Jun;132(6):1345-56. doi: 10.1093/jn/132.6.1345.


Based on research demonstrating associations between folate, B-12 and B-6 vitamins and cognition and mood, we investigated the effects of short-term supplementation in 211 healthy younger, middle-aged and older women who took either 750 microg of folate, 15 microg of vitamin B-12, 75 mg of vitamin B-6 or a placebo daily for 35 d. In addition, we examined associations between dietary intake of these vitamins and cognition and mood. Usual dietary intake status was estimated using a retrospective, self-report, quantified food frequency questionnaire. Participants completed alternate forms of standardized tests of cognitive processing resources, memory, executive function, verbal ability and self-report mood measures before and after supplementation. Supplementation had a significant positive effect on some measures of memory performance only, and no effect on mood. Dietary intake status was associated with speed of processing, recall and recognition and verbal ability.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Affect / physiology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Folic Acid / physiology
  • Humans
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B 12 / physiology
  • Vitamin B 6 / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B 6 / physiology


  • Placebos
  • Vitamin B 6
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12