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Thread: Vitamin E might reduce Alzheimer's risk

  1. #1

    Vitamin E might reduce Alzheimer's risk

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    From Wednesday's Sun
    Vitamin E might reduce Alzheimer's risk
    A diet rich in nutrient could help fend off brain disease, studies say
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By Jonathan Bor
    Sun Staff
    Originally published June 25, 2002, 10:31 PM EDT


    Two independent studies have provided the first strong evidence that people who eat diets rich in Vitamin E might reduce their risk of getting Alzheimer's, a crippling brain disease.

    The apparent benefits, reported Wednesday by researchers in Chicago and in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, were seen in people who consumed foods such as grains, nuts, milk, vegetable oils, egg yolks and poultry -- natural sources of the antioxidant vitamin.

    "These were the first studies to show a direct link between dietary intake of Vitamin E and the development of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Martha Clare Morris, principal investigator at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago.

    In both studies, she said, "the more Vitamin E participants consumed, the lower their risk."

    Oddly, a reduced risk was not observed in people who took Vitamin E supplements, which provide higher doses of the compound than most people can obtain from food.

    The studies, published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, tested a hypothesis that for years has intrigued scientists eager to find ways of preventing a heartbreaking disease that strikes increasing numbers of people each year as societies age.

    Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease that robs people of memory, speech, reasoning and the ability to accomplish simple tasks and recognize people who were familiar. In the United States, an estimated 360,000 people annually are diagnosed with the disease, though the number is expected to triple in the next 40 years.

    The risk of developing Alzheimer's increases as a person ages. For people 65 and older, the risk is about 5 percent. For those 85 and older, the risk is greater than 20 percent.

    Antioxidants are a class of chemicals that counteract naturally occurring compounds known as free radicals, which have been implicated in Alzheimer's. Free radicals are released when a cell dies and are poisonous to nearby cells.

    Scientists were quick to explain that the new findings, while advancing the idea that antioxidants might protect the brain, do not settle the issue.

    "Clearly, the results from these studies and others are not necessarily conclusive," said Dr. Neil Buckholtz, who heads dementia research at the National Institute on Aging, which funded the Chicago study.

    But Dr. Constantine G. Lyketsos, an Alzheimer's researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said the reports are tantalizing because they suggest a possible way of preventing the disease years before the first symptoms arise.

    "I think most people in my shoes are persuaded that the brain degeneration of Alzheimer's disease is happening 10 to 20 years before the symptoms," he said. "If that's true, then the best strategy to manage the symptoms is to prevent them."

    The studies had important similarities and differences.

    In Chicago, scientists at Rush-Presbyterian recruited 815 men and women 65 and older and followed them for an average of 3.9 years. In the Netherlands, researchers with the Erasmus Medical Center studied 5,395 men and women 55 and older and tracked them for about six years.

    In both studies, researchers asked participants what they ate and monitored them to see how many developed symptoms of Alzheimer's.

    While the Dutch study found lower rates of Alzheimer's among people who ate diets rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, the Chicago study did not see a benefit from Vitamin C. Both vitamins have antioxidant properties.

    Researchers in Chicago divided participants into five levels of Vitamin E consumption. People in the group that consumed the most Vitamin E had a 70 percent lower risk of Alzheimer's than people who got the least. In Rotterdam, researchers divided participants into three groups. Those who consumed the most had a 40 percent lower risk than those getting the least.

    Christine Tangney, a nutritionist at Rush-Presbyterian, said it was impossible to come up with a dietary prescription. But she noted that the people whose risk was lowest did not eat extraordinary amounts of foods rich in the Vitamin E.

    The lowest- risk people consumed between 10 and 40 international units of Vitamin E, far less than the 400 units contained in many dietary supplements. (An international unit is a standard measure of potency.)

    Why supplements did not offer the same benefits was unclear, though scientists offered a few possible explanations. Many of the people on supplements had only recently begun taking them -- and perhaps not enough time has passed to achieve an effect.

    Also, supplements contain a synthetic form of Vitamin E that might be less effective in preventing Alzheimer's.

  2. #2

    Some foods may cut Alzheimer's risk

    http://www.nandotimes.com/healthscie...-3575080c.html

    Health & Science: Some foods may cut Alzheimer's risk

    Copyright © 2002 AP Online
    Â*

    By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

    CHICAGO (June 25, 2002 7:33 p.m. EDT) - Eating nuts, leafy green vegetables and other foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, two studies suggest.
    The findings build on growing research into the effects of antioxidants on dementia.
    The latest studies seem to suggest that vitamin-rich foods, but not vitamin supplements, have beneficial effects. The researchers, however, said more definitive studies are needed.
    The connection, at least, is considered plausible: Antioxidant vitamins have been shown to block the effects of oxygen molecules called free radicals, which can damage cells and are thought to contribute to cancer and heart disease. And lesions typically associated with exposure to free radicals have been found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
    One of the studies found strong effects from vitamins E and C. In the other, results from vitamin E foods were more conclusive, but researchers said there was a suggestion vitamin C also provided benefits.
    Previous research suggested that vitamin E pills could slow disease progression in people already diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The new studies examined people who had not developed the mind-robbing ailment at the outset and suggested no effect from pills. But pill use was somewhat uncommon and of comparatively short duration in both studies.
    The studies appear in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.
    One study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, involved 815 Chicago residents 65 and older who had no initial symptoms of mental decline. They were questioned about their eating habits and followed for an average of about four years.
    Alzheimer's developed in 131 participants. It was diagnosed in 14.3 percent of those with the lowest intake of vitamin E foods, compared with 5.9 percent of those with the highest intake. When factors such as age and education were taken into account, the highest-intake group faced a 70 percent lower risk of developing the disease.
    Intake of vitamin C, found in foods such as citrus fruits, also appeared to have offer some protection, but those results were not statistically significant, said lead researcher Martha Clare Morris of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago.
    Morris said participants with the highest vitamin E intake ate amounts that could be obtained from a diet that includes whole-grain cereal for breakfast, a sandwich with whole-grain bread for lunch and a dinner including a green leafy salad sprinkled with nuts.
    There was no protective effect in participants with a gene variation called apoplipoprotein E-4, which has been linked to the development of Alzheimer's.
    The other study, from Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, involved 5,395 people in the Netherlands 55 and older who were followed for an average of about six years.
    Alzheimer's developed in 146 participants. Those with high intakes of vitamins E and C were less likely to become afflicted, regardless of whether they had the gene variation.
    "The idea that vitamin E and vitamin C might have beneficial effects on the underlying Alzheimer's disease process makes sense, and it seems unlikely that antioxidant-rich foods would negatively affect brain aging," Daniel Foley of the National Institute on Aging and Dr. Lon White of Pacific Health Research Institute in Honolulu said in an accompanying editorial.
    Still, they noted several limitations in both studies, including relying on participants' memories of their eating habits and not following them longer.
    National Institute on Aging scientist Neil Buckholtz said several NIA-funded studies are attempting to help answer whether antioxidants in food or pills affect mental decline.

  3. #3

    Diet Rich in Vitamins C, E May Pare Alzheimer's Risk

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Jun25.html


    Diet Rich in Vitamins C, E May Pare Alzheimer's Risk

    By Susan Okie
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, June 26, 2002; Page A02

    Eating a diet rich in vitamin E and vitamin C may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to two studies released yesterday.

    The studies, from the United States and the Netherlands, both found evidence to suggest that high vitamin E intake from food -- although perhaps not from supplements -- could reduce the risk of the degenerative brain disease. The Dutch study also found that a diet high in vitamin C was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's.

    Both vitamins are antioxidants, which help protect the body's cells from damage by free radicals, harmful substances generated during normal metabolism. Researchers believe that a gradual buildup of cell damage caused by free radicals is a factor in aging and probably contributes to the development of Alzheimer's.

    The findings offer some of the first evidence in humans that antioxidants may help protect healthy people against Alzheimer's, although research in animals has suggested that antioxidants can prevent age-related changes in the brain. A previous trial found that high-dose vitamin E supplements could slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer's patients.

    "We know that antioxidant nutrients work as a defense network," said Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University. "It makes sense that antioxidants like vitamin E and C, over the long term, help to reduce the risk."

    In the U.S. study, the frequency of Alzheimer's disease among participants with the highest level of dietary vitamin E intake was 70 percent lower than among those with the lowest intake.

    "I think it's very interesting that studies in two different countries, with two different types of diets, showed the same nutrient to be protective," said Martha Clare Morris, an epidemiologist at Chicago's Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, who led the project.

    Good sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and cereals fortified with vitamin E. Vitamin C is abundant in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits.

    While Morris cautioned consumers against rushing out to buy dietary supplements, some other experts said supplements might be a reasonable choice for some people.

    "I think it's important that we not discourage people from using vitamin E and C supplements, so long as they are using them well, with discussions with their doctors about . . . how much they're taking," said Daniel E. Foley of the National Institute on Aging.

    In the studies, published in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers monitored the health of a large group of older people after questioning them extensively about their diet, use of supplements and other lifestyle factors.

    Because of their design, the studies cannot prove that high intakes of vitamins E or C caused a reduction in Alzheimer's rates. Experts hope that definitive proof will come from ongoing studies in which groups of elderly people are randomly assigned to take vitamin E, vitamin C or various other dietary supplements and are then compared with others assigned to take a placebo to see which groups have lower rates of Alzheimer's disease. Results are not expected for five to seven years, said Neil Buckholtz,chief of the dementias of aging branch of the National Institute on Aging.

    Meanwhile, the findings underscore the importance of a healthy diet and especially of vitamin E intake. "Americans do not meet their requirements for vitamin E," in part because some of the best sources are vegetable fats that many people have tried to cut down on, Blumberg said.

    U.S. women typically consume between 50 percent and 70 percent, and men about 75 percent, of the recommended daily allowance (currently 15 milligrams), he said. In contrast, Americans' average intake of vitamin C exceeds the recommended daily allowance of 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men.

    In the Dutch study, researchers enrolled 5,395 residents of Rotterdam who were over 54 years old, obtaining information on diet and many other factors. During a six-year follow-up period, participants underwent regular mental status examinations and were seen by a neurologist if dementia was suspected.

    A total of 146 participants developed Alzheimer's disease. High dietary intakes of vitamins E and C (but not taking supplements) were both associated with lower rates of Alzheimer's, especially among smokers, who are at higher risk of the disorder than non-smokers. In smokers (but not in non-smokers), high intakes of beta carotene and flavonoids -- other kinds of antioxidants -- were also associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's.

    In the U.S. study, 815 Chicago residents over the age of 64 were questioned about their diet and other factors and were followed for an average of four years. About half of the study participants were white and half were black. A total of 131 participants developed Alzheimer's disease. High dietary intake of vitamin E, but not vitamin E supplements, was associated with lower rates of Alzheimer's. However, the protective effect of the vitamin was not seen in people (about one-third of participants) who carried a gene called APOE epsilon 4 that is associated with a higher risk of the disorder.

    Experts said the fact that the studies found benefits from dietary vitamin E and C but not from vitamin supplements does not necessarily mean that supplements are ineffective. The rates of supplement use in the studies were relatively low, and use was often recent.

  4. #4
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    Diet Rich in Vitamins C, E May Pare Alzheimer's Risk

    Diet Rich in Vitamins C, E May Pare Alzheimer's Risk

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    By Susan Okie
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, June 26, 2002; Page A02



    Eating a diet rich in vitamin E and vitamin C may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to two studies released yesterday.

    The studies, from the United States and the Netherlands, both found evidence to suggest that high vitamin E intake from food -- although perhaps not from supplements -- could reduce the risk of the degenerative brain disease. The Dutch study also found that a diet high in vitamin C was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's.

    Both vitamins are antioxidants, which help protect the body's cells from damage by free radicals, harmful substances generated during normal metabolism. Researchers believe that a gradual buildup of cell damage caused by free radicals is a factor in aging and probably contributes to the development of Alzheimer's.

    The findings offer some of the first evidence in humans that antioxidants may help protect healthy people against Alzheimer's, although research in animals has suggested that antioxidants can prevent age-related changes in the brain. A previous trial found that high-dose vitamin E supplements could slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer's patients.

    "We know that antioxidant nutrients work as a defense network," said Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University. "It makes sense that antioxidants like vitamin E and C, over the long term, help to reduce the risk."

    In the U.S. study, the frequency of Alzheimer's disease among participants with the highest level of dietary vitamin E intake was 70 percent lower than among those with the lowest intake.

    "I think it's very interesting that studies in two different countries, with two different types of diets, showed the same nutrient to be protective," said Martha Clare Morris, an epidemiologist at Chicago's Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, who led the project.

    Good sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and cereals fortified with vitamin E. Vitamin C is abundant in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits.

    While Morris cautioned consumers against rushing out to buy dietary supplements, some other experts said supplements might be a reasonable choice for some people.

    "I think it's important that we not discourage people from using vitamin E and C supplements, so long as they are using them well, with discussions with their doctors about . . . how much they're taking," said Daniel E. Foley of the National Institute on Aging.

    In the studies, published in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers monitored the health of a large group of older people after questioning them extensively about their diet, use of supplements and other lifestyle factors.

    Because of their design, the studies cannot prove that high intakes of vitamins E or C caused a reduction in Alzheimer's rates. Experts hope that definitive proof will come from ongoing studies in which groups of elderly people are randomly assigned to take vitamin E, vitamin C or various other dietary supplements and are then compared with others assigned to take a placebo to see which groups have lower rates of Alzheimer's disease. Results are not expected for five to seven years, said Neil Buckholtz,chief of the dementias of aging branch of the National Institute on Aging.

    Meanwhile, the findings underscore the importance of a healthy diet and especially of vitamin E intake. "Americans do not meet their requirements for vitamin E," in part because some of the best sources are vegetable fats that many people have tried to cut down on, Blumberg said.

    U.S. women typically consume between 50 percent and 70 percent, and men about 75 percent, of the recommended daily allowance (currently 15 milligrams), he said. In contrast, Americans' average intake of vitamin C exceeds the recommended daily allowance of 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men.

    In the Dutch study, researchers enrolled 5,395 residents of Rotterdam who were over 54 years old, obtaining information on diet and many other factors. During a six-year follow-up period, participants underwent regular mental status examinations and were seen by a neurologist if dementia was suspected.

    A total of 146 participants developed Alzheimer's disease. High dietary intakes of vitamins E and C (but not taking supplements) were both associated with lower rates of Alzheimer's, especially among smokers, who are at higher risk of the disorder than non-smokers. In smokers (but not in non-smokers), high intakes of beta carotene and flavonoids -- other kinds of antioxidants -- were also associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's.

    In the U.S. study, 815 Chicago residents over the age of 64 were questioned about their diet and other factors and were followed for an average of four years. About half of the study participants were white and half were black. A total of 131 participants developed Alzheimer's disease. High dietary intake of vitamin E, but not vitamin E supplements, was associated with lower rates of Alzheimer's. However, the protective effect of the vitamin was not seen in people (about one-third of participants) who carried a gene called APOE epsilon 4 that is associated with a higher risk of the disorder.

    Experts said the fact that the studies found benefits from dietary vitamin E and C but not from vitamin supplements does not necessarily mean that supplements are ineffective. The rates of supplement use in the studies were relatively low, and use was often recent.


    © 2002 The Washington Post Company

  5. #5
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    Foods with Vitamins E and C May Lower Risk of Alzheimer's

    Foods with Vitamins E and C May Lower Risk of Alzheimer's
    Library: MED
    Keywords: VITAMINS ALZHEIMERS
    Description: Two studies recently published suggest that diets rich in antioxidants -- especially vitamin E -- may play a role in protecting against Alzheimer's disease. One study indicated vitamin C also could be a factor in prevention.



    ROCHESTER, Minn.-- Two studies recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that diets rich in antioxidants -- especially vitamin E --- may play a role in protecting against Alzheimer's disease. One study indicated vitamin C also could be a factor in prevention.

    In the November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Mayo Clinic physicians caution that neither study had an optimal design. Both relied on people's ability to recall what they ate. But even so, the results indicate that a diet relatively high in plant products such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits that contain antioxidants and other nutrients might help protect against Alzheimer's disease.

    The studies also found that taking vitamin supplements didn't provide the same protection against Alzheimer's disease as food. Good sources of vitamin E include grains, nuts, milk and egg yolks. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, kiwi, broccoli and cabbage.

    Carol Lammers
    507-284-5005 (days)
    507-284-2511 (evenings)
    e-mail: newsbureau@mayo.edu

    Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page, monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today's health and medical news. To subscribe, please call toll-free 800-333-9037, extension 9PR1.

    ==============================
    "Those who seek to predict the future... might first look to the past. The past is a mirror -- and those who ignore its sometimes dark reflection, are doomed to repeat it... Will it be those seeking redemption who shall decide the future... or will those driven only by greed and envy shape our destiny? Even a hundred years later, the outcome is still very much in doubt. .." Outer Limits(Heart's Desire)



  6. #6
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    Back in 1975 when I was only 2 tears post sci, I read an article about the benefits of vitamin E. I started taking vitamin e supplements over 25 years ago and still do. I don't look a day over 30 something and I'm 48, so there must be something to it, but I don't understand why this in new news. Can't someone do a finding that hasn't already been known for 30 years, or do we just have to keep repeating findings for the younger generations benefit. I just don't understand.

  7. #7
    Jack, families with Alzheimer's disease need hope. They are watching people deteriorate. I have some friends who have relatives with Alzheimer's. It is devastating. Wise.

  8. #8
    The following is an article about a study being undertaken to examine the neuroprotective effects of alpha tocotrienol.

    http://carecure.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1479

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