This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Vitamins B₁₂, B₆, and folic acid for cognition in older men


Ford, A. H., Flicker, L., Alfonso, H., Thomas, J., Clarnette, R., Martins, R., Almeida, O. P.


Neurology, Volume: 75, No.: 17, Pages.: 1540-1547

Year of Publication



[Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 77(8) of Neurology (see record [rid]2011-21984-022[/rid]). In the original article, the daily dose of vitamin B12 used in the trial was reported as 400 μg, but it should have been 500 μg.] Objective: To investigate whether supplementing older men with vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid improves cognitive function. Methods: The investigators recruited 299 community-representative hypertensive men 75 years and older to a randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial of folic acid, vitamin B6, and B12 supplementation vs placebo over 2 years. The primary outcome of interest was the change in the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog). A secondary aim of the study was to determine if supplementation with vitamins decreased the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia over 8 years. Results: The groups were well-balanced for demographic and biochemical parameters. There was no difference in the ADAS-cog change from baseline to 24 months between the placebo (0.8, SD 4.0) and vitamins group (0.7, SD 3.4). The adjusted scores in the treatment groups did not differ over time (placebo 0.2 lower, z = 0.71, p = 0.478). There was a nonsignificant 28% decrease in the risk of cognitive impairment (odds ratio 0.72, 95% confidence interval 0.25–2.09) and dementia (hazard ratio 0.72, 95% confidence interval 0.29–1.78) over 8 years of follow-up. Conclusions: The daily supplementation of vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid does not benefit cognitive function in older men, nor does it reduce the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that vitamin supplementation with daily doses of 400 μg of B12, 2 mg of folic acid, and 25 mg of B6 over 2 years does not improve cognitive function in hypertensive men aged 75 and older. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Ford_2010, doi = {10.1212/wnl.0b013e3181f962c4}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {sep}, publisher = {Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)}, volume = {75}, number = {17}, pages = {1540--1547}, author = {A. H. Ford and L. Flicker and H. Alfonso and J. Thomas and R. Clarnette and R. Martins and O. P. Almeida}, title = {Vitamins B12, B6, and folic acid for cognition in older men}, journal = {Neurology} }


aging, cognition, cognitive ability, cognitive functioning, folic acid, hypertension, vitamin b12, vitamin b6, vitamins

Countries of Study


Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Cognition, Risk reduction (of dementia and co-morbidities)



Type of Interventions

Risk Factor Modification

Risk Factor Modifications

General population health promotion