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Chiropractic Research Review

Fighting Dementia with Vitamin Supplementation

Numerous reports suggest that supplemental antioxidants can protect against the development of coronary heart disease, and other evidence suggests that this protective effect may extend to related conditions such as hypertension and stroke.

The authors of the current study note that although it would be expected that prevention of stroke would also lower rates of vascular dementia (VaD), research has not specifically investigated the relationship of supplementation with neurogenerative disorders.

To determine whether vitamin C and E supplementation protects against the development of dementia and poor cognitive functioning, data were obtained from a subsample of Japanese-American men participating in the Honolulu-Asian Aging Study. The subjects included 3,385 men aged 71-93 years of age.

Use of vitamin C and E supplements had previously been determined by mailed questionnaire. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument, with subjects stratified into four groups: low, low normal, mid normal, and high normal. When assessing dementia, subjects were again stratified, this time into five groups: Alzheimer's dementia; vascular dementia; mixed/other types of dementia; low cognitive test scorers without diagnosed dementia; and cognitively intact.

Men who reported taking vitamin C and E supplements had a significantly lower incidence of vascular dementia and mixed/other dementia compared with men taking no supplements. No association was seen between supplementation and development of Alzheimer's dementia. Among subjects without dementia, use of either vitamin C or E supplements was associated with significantly better cognitive performance than nonusers.

Masaki KH, Losonczy KG, Izmirlian G, et al. Association of vitamin E and C supplement use on cognitive function and dementia in elderly men. Journal of Neurology 2000:54, pp1265-72.

Chiropractic Research Review

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