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Diet rich in foods with Vitamin E may reduce Alzheimers disease risk

A new population-based study of antioxidants, appearing in the June 26, 2002, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), suggests that a diet rich in foods containing vitamin E may help protect some people against Alzheimer's disease (AD). The study is also noteworthy for its finding that vitamin E in the form of supplements was not associated with a reduction in the risk of AD. The latest in a series of reports on vitamin E and dementia, the study findings heighten interest in the outcome of clinical trials now underway to test the effectiveness of vitamin E and other antioxidants in preventing or postponing cognitive decline and AD.

The JAMA study was conducted by Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush-Presbyterian-St.Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL, Denis A. Evans, M.D., and colleagues. A related study by Morris and colleagues, in press in the July 2002 Archives of Neurology, a JAMA publication, also associates vitamin E with protection against more general cognitive decline. (Reporting of additional detail on this study is embargoed for July 14, 2002, 4 p.m. ET.) Both studies were supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health.

The June 26 issue of JAMA includes similar findings from scientists in The Netherlands, who also reported a link between high dietary intake of vitamins C and E and protection against AD in certain people. In addition, the journal contains an editorial on the epidemiological study of dietary intake of antioxidants and the risk of AD by Daniel J. Foley, M.S., of the NIA's Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, and Lon White, M.D., Pacific Health Research Institute, Honolulu.

"This and a number of important population studies have pointed to vitamin E as possibly protective against oxidative damage or other mechanisms associated with cognitive decline and dementia," says Neil Buckholtz, Ph.D., head of the Dementias
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Contact: Vicky Cahan
cahanv@nia.nih.gov
301-496-1752
NIH/National Institute on Aging
25-Jun-2002


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