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Posts tagged ‘Brigham and Women’s Hospital’

Beta-Carot​ene Supplement​s Benefit The Aging Brain

Regular Beta-Carotene Intake Beta Carotene herbal product
Throughout Middle Age May Benefit The Aging Brain

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 betacarotene 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.

Story Source:

Archives of Internal Medicine

 

Journal Reference:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA
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.
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New Study Confirms Vitamin D Helps Protects Lung Function

20/2.2011 vitamin D

20/2.2011 vitamin D (Photo credit: julochka)

A new study reports…

Vitamin D May Protect Lung

Function in Smokers   An important new study at the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital  confirms Vitamin D deficiency is associated with rapid decline in lung function over time in smokers;  The research suggests that the “sunshine” vitamin may also help protect against the effects of smoking on lung function.

The researchers examined the relationship between vitamin D deficiency, smoking, lung function, and the rate of lung function decline over a 20 year period in a cohort of 626 adult white men from the Normative Aging Study.

They found that sufficient Vitamin D (serum vitamin D levels of >20 ng/ml) had a protective effect on lung function and slowing the rate of lung function decline in smokers.

The findings were published online in the American Thoracic Society‘s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In the study, vitamin D levels were assessed at three different time points between 1984 and 2003, and lung function was assessed using specialized analytical equipment.

“Our results suggest that vitamin D might modify the damaging effects of smoking on lung function,” said the researchers, adding… “These effects might be due to vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.”

“If these results can be replicated in other studies, they could be of great public health importance,” they emphasized  “Future research should also examine whether vitamin D protects against lung damage from other sources, such as air pollution.”

“While these results are intriguing, the health hazards associated with smoking far outweigh any protective effect that vitamin D may have on lung function ,” said Alexander C. White MS, MD, chair of the American Thoracic Society’s Tobacco Action Committee.

“First and foremost, patients who smoke should be fully informed about the health consequences of smoking and in addition be given all possible assistance to help them quit smoking.”

 

Story Source: American Thoracic Society

Journal Reference:

American Thoracic Society (ATS) (2012, July 20). Vitamin D may protect lung function in smokers.

 

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.

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