A study of more than 6,000 persons ages 65 and older showed that a high
intake of vitamin E from foods and/or dietary supplements was associated
with reduced memory loss and other cognitive decline.
The study, which began in 1993, measured changes in cognitive function of
individuals in an entire residential community of older persons. The study,
conducted over a three-year period, surveyed participants about their usual
diet including their use of vitamin supplements. Participants' cognitive
function was measured through a series of performance exams including the
testing of recollection of details from a lengthy story.
Martha Morris, ScD, principal author of the study and assistant professor in
the department of internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical
Center, Chicago, presented details of her findings in Washington at the
World Alzheimer's Congress 2000 on July 11, 2000.
"This study is important because most of the previous research has focused
on antioxidant nutrients as treatment therapy in persons who already have
Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. There is limited study on whether
dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients can protect against the disease from
ever occurring," said Morris.
Los Angeles physician Ray Sahelian, M.D., author of the newly published book
Mind Boosters: A Guide to Natural Supplements That Enhance Your Mind,
Memory, and Mood (St. Martins Press, $14.95, 2000), says, "I recommend my patients take between 30 and 200 international units of Vitamin E a day, along with 100 to 250 mg of vitamin C. Although people do not notice an immediate
effect on memory from taking antioxidants, these vitamins serve as insurance. You pay your monthly fee now, but you earn the benefits years later."