Two common vitamins protect against dementia

I see too many patients who complain about not being as sharp or as quick witted as they once were. Or about “brain fog.” Still others complain about not being able to remember why they went into a room. It might not sound like much of a big deal, but this ordinary forgetfulness can snowball into full-blown dementia.

And, unfortunately, mainstream medicine offers little–if any–help for people in this position.

So I was especially excited to see the results of a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. It showed that vitamin C and beta-carotene may protect against dementia.

This study clearly showed that elderly adults with dementia had significantly lower blood levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene than their cognitively healthy peers. And these results held up after researchers adjusted for education, use of dietary supplements, smoking, body mass index, and alcohol use.

The study also looked at lycopene, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 levels but those didn’t have the same effect on dementia in this population. (But that doesn’t mean that these other anti-oxidants don’t have significant health benefits! They just didn’t show a positive association in this particular study. So if you’re currently taking any of them–don’t stop!)

The leading researcher reported that, “results from experimental research support the idea that antioxidants protect against neurodegeneration, (and) epidemiological data support a relation between the use of antioxidants and risk for dementia.”

With so many negative studies about anti-oxidants and other nutrients making headlines these days (or any day for that matter) I get concerned that people have stopped taking some of the basic vitamins. But these nutrients are critical for your health.

And in order to stop dementia in its tracks, you’ve got to take these anti-oxidants. Simple as that.

“Dietary Antioxidants and Dementia in a Population-Based Case-Control Study among Older People in South Germany,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2012; 31(4): 717-724