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Vitamin E helps the mind

Food packed with vitamin E may help fight off cognitive damage in older people. New research confirms the theory that vitamin E from foods and supplements can be beneficial. Researchers from Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago studied the role of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin E, //vitamin C and carotene for their effectiveness in reducing cognitive decline in people as they age.They worked with nearly 2,000 people, 60 to 100 years old. The participants were asked to complete questionnaires about what they ate over an 18-month period.

Doctors found people with a higher intake of vitamin E from foods and supplements had less cognitive loss over time. The authors of this study felt that there was a 30 percent reduction in rate of decline among persons in the highest quintile of total vitamin E. They did not, however, find the same protective effects with vitamin C or carotene. The authors of this study thereby conclude that this would probably indicate that increasing vitamin E intake in the population to at least the recommended levels of 18 to 22 IU/d would have important public health implications.

According to the National Institutes of Health, vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables are the main dietary sources of vitamin E. Fortified cereals are also an important source of vitamin E in the United States. People are advised to consult with their physicians before taking high doses (above 2,000 International Units (IU) daily) of supplemental vitamin E or other antioxidants.


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