Beta-carotene cuts dementia

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 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 50mg beta-carotene or placebo every other day.

After 18 years' follow-up, men who took beta-carotene had higher scores for several cognitive tests compared with men who took the placebo. But this link was not noted in men followed up for two to five years.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

Arch Intern Med 2007; 167: 2,184-90

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