You already know that B vitamins are good for you. But if you’re looking for a natural health solutions to incorporate them into your diet, here’s one: There is now concrete evidence that suggests they might reduce your overall chances of dying as you age.
A recent study* whose results were published in the journal Clinical Nutrition demonstrates an association between higher intake of vitamins B1 and B6, as well as higher plasma levels of pyridoxal-phosphate (an indicator of vitamin B6 status), with a lower risk of dying among older men and women over the course of a 10-year follow-up period.
For the study, researchers from Taiwan's National Health Research Institutes and Monash University in Australia studied 1,747 subjects aged 65 and older who participated in the Taiwanese Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey from 1999 to 2000. The researchers looked at dietary questionnaires filled out by the participants for information on B vitamin intake. Blood samples collected during physical examinations were also analyzed for plasma folate, pyridoxal-phosphate and other B vitamins. The participants were followed through 2008, during which 627 of the men and women died.
The results? Subjects whose intake of vitamin B1 or vitamin B6 was among the top one-third of participants had a 26% lower adjusted risk of dying over follow-up compared to those whose intake was among the lowest third. They also found that having an adequate pyridoxal-phosphate level of 30 nanomoles per liter or more resulted in a 48% lower risk of dying than that experienced by those with deficient levels of less than 20 nanomoles per liter.
Talk to your health care practitioner about ways you can include B-vitamins in your diet. Vitamins B1 and B6 are generally included in daily multivitamins. They are also available individually in pill and sub-lingual pill form. You can find them in most grocery and health food stores.