Elderly persons who take individual vitamin E and C supplements together may reduce their risk of Alzheimer disease (AD), according to researchers. Previous studies have shown that antioxidant vitamins may protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species – molecular by-products of basic cellular metabolism. Neurons are especially sensitive to damage caused by free radicals.
Peter P. Zandi, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University and colleagues examined the relationship between antioxidant supplement use and risk of AD. They assessed the prevalence of dementia and AD in 4,740 elderly residents of Utah in 1995 to 1997 and collected information about supplement use.
The researchers found the greatest reduction in both prevalence and incidence of AD in participants who used individual vitamin E and C supplements in combination, with or without an additional multivitamin. “Use of vitamin E and C (ascorbic acid) supplements in combination reduced AD prevalence [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][by about 78%] and incidence [by about 64%],” the authors write.
The researchers also found “no appreciable association with the use of vitamin C alone, vitamin E alone, or vitamin C and multivitamins in combination,” and prevalence of AD.
JAMA/Archives, Jan 19, 2004-01-27