Thursday, January 22, 2004

Vitamins E & C protect from Alzheimer's

BBC Health -- It may be possible to reduce the effects of Alzheimer's disease by taking the right combination of vitamins, US research suggests. Scientists have found vitamins E and C may protect the ageing brain - but only if taken together. They both mop up destructive molecules, called free radicals, released by the body's metabolic processes. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland announced their findings in the journal Archives of Neurology. Brain cells, known as neurons, are thought to be particularly sensitive to damage caused by free radicals. Lead researcher Dr Peter Zandi said: "These results are extremely exciting. Our study suggests that the regular use of vitamin E in nutritional supplement doses, especially in combination with vitamin C, may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease." Dr Zandi's team examined data on 4,740 people aged 65 years or older. Of these 304 showed signs of Alzheimer's disease. Approximately 17% of the study participants reported taking vitamin E or C supplements. Another 20% used multivitamins, but without a high dosage of vitamin E or C. The researchers found that taking a combination of vitamin E and C seemed to have a protective effect. People taking both vitamins were 78% less likely to show signs of Alzheimer's than those not taking the combination. They found no benefit from taking either of the vitamins in isolation, or from taking multivitamins alone. ... 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. ... It was possible that it was simply a dosage effect - taking two vitamins instead of just one meant more was circulating around the body. However, he said: "There is also evidence of a synergistic effect between the activities of vitamin E and C. "Vitamin E is lipid-soluble and thus sticks around in fat tissues of the body a relatively long time. In contrast, vitamin C is water-soluble and is rapidly excreted from the body. Vitamin C may act to recharge the antioxidant capacities of vitamin E so that the vitamin E can continue doing its job of soaking up free radicals and reducing oxidative stress."

[My World of “Ought to Be”]

4:34:08 PM