Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Can dietary supplements fight cognitive decline?

Maybe not...It is known that people who eat diets rich in fish and antioxidants have better brain health, but this association does not prove cause and effect. Rabin points to a recent massive NIH study of ~3,500 subjects that finds no cognitive effects of dietary supplementation wtih long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) (1 g) and/or lutein (10 mg)/zeaxanthin (2 mg) (tested vs placebo in a factorial design). All participants were also given varying combinations of vitamins C, E, beta carotene, and zinc. Participants,recruited by retinal specialists in 82 US academic and community medical centers as being at risk for developing late age-related macular degeneration, underwent cognitive tests every two years during the 5-year study. The bottom line: "A total of 89% (3741/4203) of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 participants consented to the ancillary cognitive function study and 93.6% (3501/3741) underwent cognitive function testing. The mean (SD) age of the participants was 72.7 (7.7) years and 57.5% were women. There were no statistically significant differences in change of scores for participants randomized to receive supplements vs those who were not."

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