Does higher intake of folate or vitamin B6 protect against Parkinson’s disease risk?

USA: A new study published in Movement
Disorders has found that while folate and vitamin B6 may not reduce the
risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD), vitamin B12 may provide some protection
against the disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a
neurological disorder that causes unintentional or uncontrollable movements
such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulties with balance and coordination. The
study aimed to examine the association of long-term folate intake, vitamin
B6, and vitamin B12 with the incidence of PD.

The study, which followed
80,965 women and 48,837 men over several decades, examined the association
between long-term intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 with the
incidence of PD.

The researchers measured
how much B vitamins people consumed by asking about their diet every four
years. They used this information to estimate the likelihood of developing
Parkinson’s disease while considering other factors that could affect the

The study revealed the
following clinical findings:

The results showed that total folate, B6,
and B12 were not associated with the risk of PD in separate analyses of
cumulative average intake. Results from 8-, 12-, and 16-year lag analyses were
consistent with these findings.Results for baseline intake of folate and
B6 pointed toward a null association.A lower PD risk was observed among
individuals with a higher baseline total intake of B12, and results from
20-year lag analyses were consistent with this finding.People with the most vitamin B12
had a 20% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This result was
statistically significant with a high level of confidence.

The study’s conclusions
do not support the hypothesis that a higher folate or vitamin B6 intake would reduce PD risk in this population. However, the results provide moderate
support for a possible protective effect of vitamin B12 on the development of PD.

Dr. Mario Flores-Torres,
lead author of the study added, “These findings may have important implications
for individuals looking to reduce their risk of developing PD. While further
research is needed to confirm these findings, individuals may want to consider
increasing their intake of vitamin B12 through their diet or supplementation.”


Flores-Torres M., Christine C., Bjornevik
K., Molsberry S., Hung A., Healy B., Blacker D., Schwarzschild M., Ascherio A.;
Long-Term Intake of Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 and the Incidence of
Parkinson’s Disease in a Sample of U.S. Women and Men, Movement Disorders, 2023.03.20

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