New York: Daily use of antioxidants including vitamin C and vitamin E didn`t improve thinking and memory skills in people with Alzheimer`s disease, in a new study.Researchers found that some patients taking antioxidants actually had faster declines in memory over the four-month study compared to those who were given vitamin-free placebo pills.Some reports have suggested that older adults who eat a diet rich in antioxidants may have a lower risk of getting Alzheimer`s disease, researchers explained. But the supplements haven`t consistently been beneficial under more rigorous trials, including in those who already have an Alzheimer`s diagnosis."Many, many people are taking these kinds of supplements with really very little scientific justification," said Dr. Ronald Petersen, head of the Mayo Alzheimer`s Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minnesota.Petersen, who has worked with the broader study group behind the new paper but wasn`t involved in this research, said that many scientists still believe antioxidants may have a role in Alzheimer`s disease and aging in general -- but maybe not after patients are already impaired."It may very well be that we have to intervene with these types of therapies much earlier," he said.The current study included 78 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer`s disease, seen at one of 12 different medical centers. Participants were in their early 70s, on average, and were already getting treated with anti-Alzheimer`s medications.Researchers led by Dr. Douglas Galasko from the University of California, San Diego, randomly assigned the patients to one of three different supplement groups.One-third of them took a combination of antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid daily. An additional one-third took supplements of coenzyme Q -- another antioxidant that tends to be low in people with chronic diseases. The final group took placebo pills every day.
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