Beta-Carotene & Cognitive Function

The recent Physicians’ Health Study II (PHSII) is researching the effects oxidative stress has on brain aging and whether intake of long-term antioxidant supplements would be cognitively beneficial.*

Among the 1904 new recruits given beta-carotene for 1 year, the cognitive tests showed little difference. However, the cognitive tests for the 4052 continuing PHSII study participants (who have been a part of the study for an average of 18 years) did show a significant difference. These men showed a significantly higher cognitive function for those taking beta-carotene than those in the placebo group. The researchers suggest that men taking beta-carotene for 15 years or more may have slowed their mental decline.

*Grodstein, Francine. Kang, J.H., Glynn R.J., Cook, N.R., Gaziano, J.M. “A Randomized Trial of Beta Carotene Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Men: The Physicians’ Health Study II” Archives of Internal Medicine. Volume 167, No. 20., Pgs 2184-2190.

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