Vitamin C can keep Alzheimer's at bay

Intake of Vitamin C in diet can help keep the Alzheimer’s disease at bay, according to a new study.

The study by German scientists found that the levels of antioxidants Vitamin C and beta-carotene in blood are lower in patients with dementia than in people without it.

Scientists said that it might thus be possible to influence the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s by a person’s diet or dietary antioxidants.

Gabriele Nagel and Christine von Arnim, professors of epidemiology and neurology from the University of Ulm, Germany, have discovered that the concentration of vitamin C and beta-carotene in blood are significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in people without them.

Forgetfulness, lack of orientation and cognitive decline are all offshoots of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Seventy-four AD-patients and 158 healthy controls (without AD) were examined. Oxidative stress, which constrains the exploitation of oxygen in the human body, is suspected to promote the development of AD.

Researchers investigated whether the serum-levels (blood levels) of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene as well as lycopene and coenzyme Q10 are significantly lower in the blood of AD-patients.

“In order to possibly influence the onset and development of Alzheimer’s disease, we need to be aware of potential risk factors,” said Nagel in a statement.

The 65 to 90 years old seniors from Ulm and the surrounding area underwent neuropsychological testing and answered questions regarding their lifestyle. Their blood has been examined and their body mass index (BMI) was calculated.

The concentration of vitamin C and beta-carotene in the serum of AD-patients was found to be significantly lower than in the blood of control subjects.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease: Alterations in the brain caused by amyloid-beta-plaques and loss of synapses connecting the brain cells or neurons are the major factors behind the characteristic symptoms.

The study was published in the Journal ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’.

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