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Antioxidants and Alzheimer’s

By May 21, 2019 May 27th, 2019 News

Because Alzheimer’s dementia is a devastating and incurable illness, there has been considerable interest in preventing it. A recent study in JAMA Neurology from the University of Kentucky examined the effects of the popular anti-oxidant supplements selenium and vitamin E on the development of dementia among over 7500 asymptomatic male subjects without any initial signs of dementia, who were followed over the next 11 years. Unfortunately, supplementation did not decrease the development of dementia, nor the overall death rate, cancer, or cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the data suggested that selenium led to a small increase in type II diabetes, and that vitamin E increased the diagnosis of prostate cancer. The take home point is that these two antioxidants do not appear to reduce the incidence of dementia in healthy elderly men.