Does Vitamin E Help Prevent Memory Loss?
Memory loss is often associated with a loss of independent functioning, especially in the elderly population. Identifying potential modifiable protective factors for memory deficit or dementia represents an important step in helping the elderly maintain functional status with age.
The relationship between antioxidants (vitamins A,C,E, the carotenoids, and selenium) and memory performance was examined in a study involving 4,809 seniors who visited a selected examination center over a six-year period.
Memory was assessed using delayed recall (six points from a story and three specific words), with poor memory defined as a total score less than four. Antioxidant status was evaluated by measuring serum antioxidant levels at baseline and follow-up.
A consistent association was observed between low levels of vitamin E and poor memory, overall and within different race-ethnicity groups. This association was maintained when adjusting for age, socioeconomic factors (education, income), vascular risk factors, and other trace elements and vitamins. Serum levels of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and selenium were not associated with poor memory performance under the parameters of this study.
Perkins A, Hendrie HC, Callahan CM, et al. Association of antioxidants with memory in a multiethnic elderly sample using the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. American Journal of Epidemiology