TABLE B-1 Antioxidant Interventions and Improvements in Cognitive Function—A Summary of the Existing Literature



Duration of Study




14 days

Improved spatial memory in radial arm maze

Blueberry spinach strawberry

19-month-old rats

8 weeks

Improved one-trial learning in the water maze

Improved vitamin E levels in the hippocampus

PBN vitamin E

24-month-old rats

4–5 months

Improved memory retention on spatial memory task

Improved learning of a spatial memory task

Strawberry spinach vitamin E

6-month-old rats

8 months

Enhanced retention in a spatial water maze task


24-month-old rats

9.5 months

Improved memory retention on spatial memory task

Faster acquisition of a one-way activate avoidance task

Improved learning of a spatial memory task


Senescence-accelerated mice

12 months

Significantly lengthened life span

Vitamin E

Rats receiving intraventricular Aβ

7 days

Reduced spatial memory impairments induced by Aβ

Vitamin E

Patients with Alzheimer's disease

2 years

Significantly delayed institutionalization

behavior and age-related brain oxidative status. Furthermore, in normal aging, reducing oxidative stress through the use of nutritional supplements including vitamin E is beneficial for cognition and immune system function (Fryer, 1998; Reidel and Jorissen, 1998; Blumberg and Halpner, 1999; Meydani et al., 1995; Perrig et al., 1997). Table B-1 summarizes the striking efficacy of antioxidant interventions.

Antioxidants can also significantly aid the human brain. Over 4 years ago, the inclusion of Vitamin E into a clinical trial of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease resulted in the finding that Vitamin E supple-

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement