Researchers Discover that a Combination of Two B vitamins Reduces Likelihood of Age-related Illnesses

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New Irish research suggests that two common vitamins commonly taken by pregnant women to prevent birth defects may also play a role in reducing the risk of age-related diseases. A combination of vitamin B12 and folic acid has been identified as a potential means to slow down the aging process, according to the study.

While it’s already recognized that expecting mothers are encouraged to take folate (vitamin B9) along with vitamin B12 to lower the risk of neural tube defects in their babies, researchers from Dublin City University (DCU) have uncovered additional benefits. They found that these two B vitamins could also help mitigate damage to DNA, which is a primary driver of age-related diseases.

The study highlights the importance of optimal levels of vitamin B12 and folate in supporting the function of mitochondria, the cellular structures responsible for producing energy. As we age, damage to the mitochondrial DNA occurs, leading to age-related illnesses. However, maintaining adequate levels of these vitamins may help minimize this damage.

Anne Parle-McDermott, professor of genetics at DCU School of Biotechnology and Life Sciences Institute, explained that vitamin B12 and folate are essential components of the metabolic pathway responsible for producing the building blocks necessary for mitochondrial DNA. Insufficient levels of these vitamins can impair this pathway, resulting in DNA damage.

She emphasized the importance of ensuring optimal B12 and folate levels throughout life, not just during pregnancy, to prevent DNA mutations and age-related diseases. This underscores the significance of maintaining adequate intake of these vitamins for overall health and wellbeing.

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