Background: It is possible that blood B vitamins level and cognitive function may be affected by dietary intake of these vitamins, no study however has yet been conducted on relationships between B vitamins intake and cognitive function among elderly population in Korea. This study examined the relationship between B vitamins intake and cognitive function among elderly in South Korea.
Methods: Participants consisted of 100 adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 100 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 121 normal subjects. Dietary intake data that included the use of dietary supplements were obtained using a 24-hour recall method by well-trained interviewers. Plasma folate and vitamin B12 concentrations were analyzed by radioimmunoassay, and homocysteine (Hcy) was assessed by a high performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence method.
Results: Plasma levels of folate and vitamin B12 were positively correlated with B vitamins intake; and plasma Hcy was negatively correlated with total intake of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate. In the AD group, a multiple regression analysis after adjusting for covariates revealed positive relationships between vitamin B2 intake and test scores for the MMSE-KC, Boston Naming, Word Fluency, Word List Memory and Constructional Recall Tests; and between vitamin B6 intake and the MMSE-KC, Boston Naming, Word Fluency, Word List Memory, Word List Recognition, Constructional Recall and Constructional Praxis Tests. Positive associations were observed between vitamin B12 intake and the MMSE-KC, Boston Naming, Constructional Recall and Constructional Praxis Tests, and between folate intake and the Constructional Recall Test. In the MCI group, vitamin B2 intake was positively associated with the MMSE-KC and Boston Naming Test, vitamin B6 intake was positively associated with the Boston Naming Test, and folate intake was positively associated with the MMSE-KC and Word List Memory test. No associations were observed in the normal group.
Conclusion: These results suggested that total B vitamins intake is associated with cognitive function in cognitively impaired AD and MCI elderly, and the association is stronger in AD patients.