Certain vitamins may help protect against Alzheimer’s

To keep your brain sharp and healthy as you age, you should first take a look at your diet. Having the recommended amount of certain vitamins such as vitamins C and E in your bloodstream might help to guard against the onset of Alzheimer's disease, according to several recent studies.

A study published in the April 2015 edition of the Journal of Neural Transmission showed that carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT) — a measure of the thickness of the arterial walls thought to be associated with Alzheimer's — is related to the levels of vitamins C and E circulating in the blood. Patients with high c-IMT had much lower average levels of the vitamins in their bloodstream. However, vitamin C actually had a "dose-responsive effect" on c-IMT, which decreased as vitamin C levels increased.

"An adequate vitamin C status might be particularly important for protection against AD (Alzheimer's disease) and other clinical manifestations of vascular and cognitive ageing," the study authors wrote.

Additionally, a study recently published in JAMA found that people who were given 2,000 international units (IUs) per day of vitamin E experienced significant slowing of the progression of the disease. The study looked at data from 561 patients who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Compared to the placebo group, the group that received the vitamin E slowed the disease's clinical progression by 19 percent per year, or six months of delay over a two-year period. They also experienced a smaller increase in the amount of time their caregivers had to spend caring for them.

"2,000 IU/day of alpha tocopherol compared with placebo resulted in slower functional decline," the authors wrote.

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