Aging brings with it a host of diseases and inconveniences. But you can slow the effects of aging by taking action. Over the next few weeks, I'll be giving you 10 practical anti-aging tips you can start using right away, starting with this one...
Homocysteine is an amino acid that accumulates in your blood as you age and increases the risk of stroke. Although homocysteine is a heart-health risk factor, it also affects your brain and cognitive performance. And new research out of Holland - published in the British medical journal Lancet - revealed a boost in thinking skills for those taking folic acid, a B vitamin that helps reduce levels of homocysteine. Participants in the study who took folic acid performed significantly better on three out of five mental tests, and their average for all tests was higher.
By keeping your homocysteine in check, you are practicing anti-aging. You'll help preserve your mental skills and lower your risk of two dangerous diseases of aging: heart attack and stroke.
For most people, these B vitamins are enough:
- Vitamin B6 - 75 mg daily
- Vitamin B12 - 400 mcg daily
- Folic Acid - 800 mcg daily
For patients with a strong family history of heart disease, I add 500 mg of the water-soluble B vitamin-like nutrient TMG (trimethylglycine).
[Ed. Note: Dr. Sears, a practicing physician and the author of The Doctor's Heart Cure , is a leading authority on longevity, physical fitness, and heart health.]