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Nutrients 2017, 9(1), 53; doi:10.3390/nu9010053

B-Vitamin Intake and Biomarker Status in Relation to Cognitive Decline in Healthy Older Adults in a 4-Year Follow-Up Study

1
Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, Ulster University, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland, UK
2
Causeway Hospital, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Coleraine BT52 1HS, Northern Ireland, UK
3
School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue B-Vitamins and One-Carbon Metabolism)
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Abstract

Advancing age can be associated with an increase in cognitive dysfunction, a spectrum of disability that ranges in severity from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. Folate and the other B-vitamins involved in one-carbon metabolism are associated with cognition in ageing but the evidence is not entirely clear. The hypothesis addressed in this study was that lower dietary intake or biomarker status of folate and/or the metabolically related B-vitamins would be associated with a greater than expected rate of cognitive decline over a 4-year follow-up period in healthy older adults. Participants (aged 60–88 years; n = 155) who had been previously screened for cognitive function were reassessed four years after initial investigation using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). At the 4-year follow-up assessment when participants were aged 73.4 ± 7.1 years, mean cognitive MMSE scores had declined from 29.1 ± 1.3 at baseline to 27.5 ± 2.4 (p < 0.001), but some 27% of participants showed a greater than expected rate of cognitive decline (i.e., decrease in MMSE > 0.56 points per year). Lower vitamin B6 status, as measured using pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP; <43 nmol/L) was associated with a 3.5 times higher risk of accelerated cognitive decline, after adjustment for age and baseline MMSE score (OR, 3.48; 95% CI, 1.58 to 7.63; p < 0.05). Correspondingly, lower dietary intake (0.9–1.4 mg/day) of vitamin B6 was also associated with a greater rate of cognitive decline (OR, 4.22; 95% CI, 1.28–13.90; p < 0.05). No significant relationships of dietary intake or biomarker status with cognitive decline were observed for the other B-vitamins. In conclusion, lower dietary and biomarker status of vitamin B6 at baseline predicted a greater than expected rate of cognitive decline over a 4-year period in healthy older adults. Vitamin B6 may be an important protective factor in helping maintain cognitive health in ageing. View Full-Text
Keywords: one-carbon metabolism; B-vitamin biomarkers; dietary intakes; vitamin B6; pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP); cognition; ageing one-carbon metabolism; B-vitamin biomarkers; dietary intakes; vitamin B6; pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP); cognition; ageing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hughes, C.F.; Ward, M.; Tracey, F.; Hoey, L.; Molloy, A.M.; Pentieva, K.; McNulty, H. B-Vitamin Intake and Biomarker Status in Relation to Cognitive Decline in Healthy Older Adults in a 4-Year Follow-Up Study. Nutrients 2017, 9, 53.

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