Food and Behaviour Research

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The Effect of a High-Dose Vitamin B Multivitamin Supplement on the Relationship between Brain Metabolism and Blood Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress: A Randomized Control Trial

Ford TC, Downey LA, Simpson T, McPhee G, Oliver C, Stough C (2018) Nutrients.  2018 Dec;10(12).  pii: E1860. doi: 10.3390/nu10121860. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here


A diet rich in B-group vitamins is essential for optimal body and brain function, and insufficient amounts of such vitamins have been associated with higher levels of neural inflammation and oxidative stress, as marked by increased blood plasma homocysteine.

biomarkers of oxidative stress quantified through proton magnetic spectroscopy (1H-MRS) are not well understood, and the relationship between such neural and blood biomarkers is seldom studied.

The current study addresses this gap by investigating the direct 
effect of 6-month high-dose B-group vitamin supplementation on neural and blood biomarkers of metabolism. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 32 healthy adults (20 female, 12 male) aged 30⁻65 years underwent blood tests (vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine levels) and 1H-MRS of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) before and after supplementation.

Results confirmed the 
supplement was effective in increasing vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 levels and reducing homocysteine, whereas there was no change in folate levels. There were significant relationships between vitamin B6 and N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, and creatine, as well as between vitamin B12 and creatine (ps < 0.05), whereas NAA in the PCC increased, albeit not significantly (p > 0.05).

Together these data provide preliminary evidence for the efficacy of 
high-dose B-group supplementation in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation through increasing oxidative metabolism. It may also promote myelination, cellular metabolism, and energy storage.