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Vitamins C & E May Protect from Dementia

Posted May 13 2008 5:32pm

Ina study, published in the journal, Neurology (March 2000;54:1265-1272) 3,385 Japanese American men ages 71-93were surveyed and tested for dementia over a nine year period. Forty-seven ofthe men were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Thirty-five of theparticipants were diagnosed with vascular dementia. Another 50 of the men werediagnosed with other types of dementia. Low cognitive test scores (without adiagnosis of dementia) were seen in 254 of the men. Most of the men (2,999)showed no cognitive difficulties.

Participantstaking both vitamin E and C supplements regularly (at least once a week) in1988, were 88% less likely to have vascular dementia four years later. Thegroup taking the supplements was also 69% less likely to have forms of dementiaother than vascular or Alzheimer's related dementia or mixed forms of dementia.There was no significant reduction in the occurrence of Alzheimer's diseasefour years later for the men taking the supplements.

Participants without dementia were evaluatedfor mental performance and function. Those who reported taking vitamin E and Csupplements in 1988 had an approximately 20 percent greater chance of havingbetter cognitive function during the 1991-93 examination than those who didnot. However, men taking the supplements in both 1982 and 1988 had anapproximately 75 percent greater chance of better mental performance. Thissuggests that long-term use of the supplements could significantly improvecognitive function in late life.

Researchersbelieve that the antioxidant vitamins protect the brain tissue against damage.Oxidative stress is caused by toxins, inflammation, viruses. It is like littlechemical bullets that damage tissue. Antioxidants are like chemical bullet-proof vests.

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