The results of a new study adds to the growing body of evidence showing that vitamins may help protect the aging brain. The research suggests a daily dose of Vitamin E and C helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer's Disease.
Researchers in Utah studied the vitamin habits of nearly 5,000 men and women, 65 and older. The men and women who took both Vitamin E and C were much less likely to develop Alzheimer's compared to their peers who didn't take the supplements.
Researchers note that the vitamin beneft was seen only among people who got the vitamin combination from separate supplements, not in those who took a multi-vitamin. They say that's probably because individual vitamins often contain much higher doses than a multivitamin.
It's believed that E and C, known as anti-oxidants, protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals and other cell by-products that are thought to lead to Alzheimer's. The scientists note while the results are exciting, more studies are needed before they can confirm the role of the E-C vitamin combo as a way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.
Multivitamins typically contain the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E (22 iu or 15 mg) and Vitamin C (75-90 mg), while individual supplements contain doses up to 1,000 iu of Vitamin E and 500-1,000 mg or more of Vitamin C.
The study was conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions is published in the January 2004 issue of the journal Archives of Neurology.