A study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health indicates that taking high daily doses of Vitamins C and E may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) by at least 64%. The five-year study, published in the January 2004 issue of the Archives of Neurology, included 4,740 participants aged 65 years and older.
“Our findings suggest that Vitamins E and C may offer protection against Alzheimer’s Disease when taken together in the higher doses from individual supplements” according to study author Dr. Peter Zandi. The vitamins’ antioxidant properties may reduce free radicals which damage cells, leading to AD.
The Vitamin E supplements taken by the study participants contained up to 1,000 IUs and the Vitamin C supplements contained 500 to 1,000 mcgs. The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin E is 22 IUs and for Vitamin C it is 75 to 90 mcgs. Taking a lower dosage multivitamin or using just one of the vitamins alone did not have the same protective effect. A Vitamin E supplement together with a multivitamin may provide some benefit. According to the report, high-dose vitamin supplements are rarely toxic and could have wide-ranging health benefits.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking, and behavior. Approximately 5 million Americans suffer from AD.
This study has implications in Down syndrome as well; estimates vary but approximately 25% or more of individuals with Down syndrome over age 35 have clinical signs and symptoms of AD. Overall, the incidence of AD in Down syndrome is estimated to be 3 to 5 times greater than in the general population.