Beta-carotene cuts dementia risk

Men who take beta-carotene supplements for 15 years or longer are less likely to develop dementia, according to US research.

Previous studies on the benefits of taking antioxidant supplements to fight dementia have been inconclusive.

US researchers studied the effects of beta-carotene on cognitive ability in two groups of men.

In 1982, 4,052 men were randomly assigned to take a placebo or beta-carotene, 50mg, every other day.

Between 1998-2001, an additional 1,904 men were randomly assigned to the groups, which were followed until 2003.

Men in the long-term group, but not the short term group, had significantly higher scores for several cognitive tests including verbal memory compared with men who took the placebo.

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