Archive for July 2012

Study Shows Beta-Carotene Supplementation Is Beneficial To Protecting Brain Function As We Age

July 31, 2012


 Important study reports… 


Regular Beta-Carotene Intake
Throughout Middle Age May
Benefit The Aging Brain

A recent study of people taking beta-carotene supplements analyzing the key potential benefits against cognitive decline demonstrates there are ways, through basic “health-minded” lifestyle modifications, that proper nutritional intake
can help memory as people get older.

Most importantly, the findings also suggest beta-carotene may help keep the brain sharp if taken regularly as a supplement for many years.

Results of the placebo-controlled study of
5,956 men were published in the Archives
of Internal Medicine. Researchers from

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
reported that men who took beta-carotene supplements every other day for an

average 18 years scored much better in
cognitive testing than those taking a placebo.

They scored especially well on verbal memory. However, those in a shorter-term test who averaged only one year of supplementation,
did not demonstrate a similar benefit.

“Men who took beta-carotene for a mean of
18 years had about the same degree of
cognitive function as men one year younger,”
the researchers explained. “In other words,
if you take beta-carotene for 18 years,
you delay cognitive aging for about one year.”

They also said that women would likely see
a similar long-term benefit. The researchers suggested that beta carotene might help delay
the effects of aging on cognitive abilities by
counter-acting oxidative damage in the brain.

“In this generally healthy population, the
extent of protection conferred by long-term treatment appeared modest,” they noted. “Nonetheless, studies have established that
very modest differences in cognition (especially verbal memory) predict substantial differences
in eventual risk of dementia.”

The long-term group in the study included 4,052 participants in the Physicians Health Study who began taking supplements or placebo in 1982. Between 1998 and 2001, an additional 1,904 men were randomly assigned to one of the two groups.

Both groups were followed through 2003, completing yearly questionnaires about their
health and their compliance with taking the supplement. The men were assessed  for
cognitive function at least once between 1998
and 2002, then evaluated at the study’s
conclusion using a set of five cognitive tests.

Beta-carotene’s benefits against the ravages
of cognitive decline surpassed those of other medications tested in healthy older people,
making it worthy of continued study.

Story Source:

Archives of Internal Medicine 

Journal Reference: 
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA


 This article is for informational and educational

purposes only;  It is not intended to provide  
medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.