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Vitamin E has been shown to reduce memory loss by as much as 36 percent in healthy seniors who participated in a long-term Chicago study. Based on previous studies, which raised the possibility that antioxidants protect against neurodegenerative diseases, the five-person research team formulated this study to examine whether intake of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin E, vitamin C and carotene, can reduce typical age-related cognitive decline.
Cognitive change was measured by four standard tests at baseline and three years for all participants, and six months for randomly selected participants. Those subjects who took the largest amount of vitamin E, demonstrated 36 percent less memory loss than those who took the least amount of vitamin E. The researchers concluded that vitamin E intake, from foods or supplements, is associated with less cognitive decline with age. However, the researchers observed a reduced decline with higher vitamin E intake from foods, suggesting that vitamin E supplements may provide greater protection against age-related cognitive decline. Furthermore, there was little evidence that vitamin C or carotene intake helped reduce memory loss.