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Neurology AdvisorDoes Higher Intake of Folate, Vitamin B6 Help Reduce Parkinson Disease Risk?

Although early-in-life vitamin B12 consumption was connected to a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease, the data were contradictory. The findings were reported in the journal Movement Disorders.

In the pursuit to prevent or delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD), a 30-year prospective study investigated the correlation between long-term intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, and their effects on PD risk. Utilizing cohorts from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, researchers assessed the nutritional data of nearly 130,000 individuals but found inconclusive evidence linking these vitamins to PD risk reduction.

Key Points:

  • The study comprised 80,965 women and 48,837 men, evaluated over 30 years.
  • Nutritional intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 was quantified using USDA information.
  • A total of 1,426 new cases of PD were identified (687 women, 739 men).
  • No consistent association was found between total folate intake or vitamin B6 and PD risk.
  • A moderate inverse association was identified for baseline total B12 intake with a pooled HR of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.67-0.95; P-trend =.01), but only considering dietary and supplemental sources.

Additional Points:

  • The study faced limitations including self-reported vitamin intake and lack of generalizability, since the population was mostly White, well-educated, and adequately nourished.
  • The results differed when excluding supplement intake at baseline or adjusting for factors like alcohol intake, age, or smoking status.


  • The results do not firmly support the hypothesis that increasing intake of folate or vitamin B6 would reduce PD risk, while the role of vitamin B12 remains ambiguous and may warrant further investigation.

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Did You Know?
Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 1% of individuals over the age of 60, making it the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.

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