Study finds vitamin C levels may influence dementia progression

In the U.S., there are approximately 5.4 million individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. As people age, they become more likely to exhibit symptoms of the condition, but, in many cases, the exact cause is not clear. However, a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reports that vitamin C and beta-carotene may have an impact on whether someone develops it

German researchers from the University of Ulm examined 232 patients, some of whom were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and others who were healthy. They found that those with the condition had significantly lower levels of both vitamin C and beta-carotene. These results indicate that the concentration of these nutrients may impact the progression of dementia.

“In order to possibly influence the onset and development of Alzheimer’s disease, we need to be aware of potential risk factors,” said Gabriele Nagel, an epidemiologist professor at the university.

Vitamin C is typically consumed through diet. Fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, grapefruits, red peppers and tomatoes, are among the richest sources, according to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements. However, people can also take a daily supplement, such as Super C22 made by Dr. Newton’s Naturals. In addition, eating egg yolks, dairy, carrots, squash and leafy greens can give individuals the beta-carotene that they need.

More research is needed to see how the body’s concentration of these nutrients affects the advancement of dementia, which is characterized by difficulty with emotional behavior and personality, language, memory, perception and everyday cognitive skills, according to the National Institutes of Health. The agency also reports that beta-carotene has shown previous evidence that it may help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other progressive conditions.

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