Thomas Ramey Watson

How to Stop Your Brain from Shrinking

by Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

When it comes to your brain, size does matter a little bit. Many people’s brains tend to shrivel as they age. The trouble: Brain shrinkage is often seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

So it makes sense that whatever you can do to prevent the withering might also help keep you away from the long goodbye. And, fortunately, getting enough vitamin B12 might be one of those things.

In a 5-year study, people in their 60s and beyond who were low — but not deficient — in B12 were three to six times more likely to have brain atrophy than people on the higher end of the normal B12 range. Even worse: 85% of us come up short in getting the necessary B12 from our diets. And it’s harder as you get older: To absorb B12 from food, you need a substance from your stomach called intrinsic factor, and its production decreases with age.

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