The study involved 104 people with an average age of 87 and very few risk factors for memory and thinking problems. Blood tests were used to determine the levels of various nutrients present in the blood of each participant. All of the participants also took tests of their memory and thinking skills. A total of 42 of the participants had MRI scans to measure their brain volume.
Posts tagged ‘Alzheimer’s disease’
High levels of several vitamin E components in the blood are associated with a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in advanced age, suggesting that vitamin E may help prevent cognitive deterioration in elderly people. This is the conclusion reached in a Swedish study published in the July 2010 issue of the “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease”.
“Vitamin E is a family of eight natural components, but most studies related to Alzheimer’s disease investigate only one of these components, tocopherol,” explained the research team. “We hypothesized that all the vitamin E family members could be important in protecting against Alzheimer’s Disease. If confirmed, this result has implications for both individuals and society, as 70 percent of all dementia cases in the general population occur in people over 75 years of age, and the study suggests a protective effect of vitamin E against Alzheimer’s Disease in individuals aged 80 and over.”
The study was conducted at the Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, in collaboration with the Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Perugia, Italy. The study included a sample of 232 participants from the Kungsholmen Project, a population-based longitudinal study on aging and dementia in Stockholm (Kungsholmen parish). All participants were aged 80+ years and were dementia-free at the beginning of the study (baseline). After 6-years of follow-up, 57 Alzheimer’s Disease cases were identified.
The blood levels of all eight natural vitamin E components were measured at the beginning of the study. Subjects with higher blood levels (highest tertile) were compared with subjects who had lower blood levels (lowest tertile) to verify whether these two groups developed dementia at different rates. The study found that subjects with higher blood levels of all the vitamin E complex forms had a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, compared to subjects with lower levels. After adjusting for various confounders, the risk was reduced by 45- 54%, depending on the vitamin E component.
The researchers note that the protective effect of vitamin E seems to be related to the combination of the different forms. Another recent study indicated that supplements containing high doses of the E vitamin form �- tocopherol may increase mortality, emphasizing that such dietary supplements, if not used in a balanced way, may be more harmful than previously thought.
“Elderly people as a group are large consumers of vitamin E supplements, which usually contain only �- tocopherol, and this often at high doses,” said the researchers. “Our findings need to be confirmed by other studies, but they open up for the possibility that the balanced presence of different vitamin E forms can have an important neuroprotective effect.”
Story Source: Karolinska Institutet. Journal Reference: High plasma levels of vitamin E forms and reduced Alzheimer’s disease risk in advanced age. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2010;
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.
A recent study of people taking beta-carotene supplements analyzing the key potential benefits against cognitive decline demonstrates there are ways, through basic “health-minded” lifestyle modifications, that proper nutritional intake can help memory as people get older.
Most importantly, the findings also suggest beta-carotene may help keep the brain sharp if taken regularly as a supplement for many years.
Results of the placebo-controlled study of 5,956 men were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported that men who took beta–carotene supplements every other day for an average 18 years scored much better in cognitive testing than those taking a placebo.
They scored especially well on verbal memory. However, those in a shorter-term test who averaged only one year of supplementation, did not demonstrate a similar benefit.
“Men who took beta-carotene for a mean of 18 years had about the same degree of cognitive function as men one year younger,” the researchers explained. “In other words, if you take beta-carotene for 18 years, you delay cognitive aging for about one year.”
They also said that women would likely see a similar long-term benefit. The researchers suggested that beta carotene might help delay the effects of aging on cognitive abilities by counter-acting oxidative damage in the brain.
“In this generally healthy population, the extent of protection conferred by long-term treatment appeared modest,” they noted. “Nonetheless, studies have established that very modest differences in cognition (especially verbal memory) predict substantial differences in eventual risk of dementia.”
The long-term group in the study included 4,052 participants in the Physicians Health Study who began taking supplements or placebo in 1982. Between 1998 and 2001, an additional 1,904 men were randomly assigned to one of the two groups.
Both groups were followed through 2003, completing yearly questionnaires about their health and their compliance with taking the supplement. The men were assessed for cognitive function at least once between 1998 and 2002, then evaluated at the study’s conclusion using a set of five cognitive tests.
Beta-carotene’s benefits against the ravages of cognitive decline surpassed those of other medications tested in healthy older people, making it worthy of continued study.
Archives of Internal Medicine
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- New Study Points to Alpha-Carotene and Suggests Value of Body Cleanse for Longer Life (prweb.com)