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Antioxidants may protect women from Alzheimer's; foods, not supplements.

ALBUQUERQUE -- Diets high in antioxidant-rich foods were associated with a lower likelihood of Alzheimer's disease in women in a study presented at the annual meeting of the International Academy of Nutrition and Aging.

Heidi Wengreen, Ph.D., reported on 2,741 men and women in the Cache County Study on Memory, Health, and Aging, a prospective study of residents of Cache County, Utah; all were at least 65 years old when the study began in 1995. The subjects underwent a cognitive assessment with the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination at baseline and again in a follow-up interview completed during 1998-1999. A decrease of 10 points or more between the two evaluations was considered evidence of cognitive decline.

Dr. Wengreen and her associates used logistic regression analysis to correlate the odds of cognitive decline with level of antioxidant intake. Complete data were available for 1,599 women and 1,142 men.

Compared with women in the lowest quartile of overall antioxidant intake, those in the highest quartile had an odds ratio of 0.39 for Alzheimer's disease, said Dr. Wengreen, research assistant professor at Utah State University, Logan. For women in the second and third highest quartiles, the odds ratios were 0.32 and 0.88, respectively

When their diets were analyzed for specific antioxidants, women who consumed the most vitamin C and lycopene had a significantly lower risk of cognitive decline.

No similar associations were seen for other individual antioxidants such as carotene or vitamin E, and no relationship was found for men between antioxidant consumption and risk of cognitive decline.
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Title Annotation:Clinical Rounds
Author:MacReady, Norra
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Words:260
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