One of our greatest fears about aging is loss of mental ability. One national poll showed that this is the top concern about aging among Americans. A recent study suggests that vitamins C and E may help reduce risk of age-related cognitive decline and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Nobel Prize-winning scientist is reported to have been an ardent believer in the benefits of vitamin C, and took 3grams (3000 milligrams) of it daily. He is said to have died at a ripe old age of 96, with his brain sharp as ever.
Vitamins C and E Function In The Brain
The two vitamins seem to derive their brain-preserving properties from the same property; they are both antioxidants. This is what the study appears to credit these vitamins there’s more to them than this, however.
Also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a vital antioxidant molecule in the brain. However, it has a number of other important functions. Ascorbic acid (AA) concentration is higher in the brain than in almost all other organs.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, and therefore any excess is passed out through urine.
Vitamin E is another important antioxidant. In fact, it is so effective in this aspect that it is used in omega-3 supplements to prevent oxidizing or turning rancid. This vitamin is a little complex in that it is a group of eight fat-soluble compounds, as well as natural and synthetic forms. We shall not go into these as it is beyond the scope of this short post.
Inadequate vitamin E may cause brain damage as it interrupts certain nutrients from getting to the brain. Research suggests that a daily dose of the vitamin may help people with dementia.
Data collected data from 5,269 people over 65 years old indicated that users of vitamin C and/or vitamin E supplements reduced risk of some forms of cognitive impairment by 23%. In addition, the use of either or both vitamins was associated with “statistically significant” 40-42% reduction of Alzheimer’s disease compared to non-users. (See original post).
Vitamin C and E are best taken together as they have related functions and work well together as a team. Taken together, they may not only benefit brain function, but cardiovascular health as well.