Small Doses: News for Pharmacists
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Selenium and Vitamin E Supplements Don’t Help Prevent Dementia
People take many types of supplements in the hopes of preventing dementia in their later years, but it appears that the antioxidants selenium and vitamin E, either by themselves or combined, don’t help. A cohort study with more than 3700 men found no difference in the incidence of dementia between groups taking selenium alone, vitamin E alone, selenium and vitamin E combined, or a placebo. This study started in 2002 as a double-blind randomized clinical trial that was ancillary to a trial investigating the effects of the two supplements on prostate cancer and then was transformed in 2009 into a cohort study, called PREADViSE, that ran until 2015. It enrolled men over age 60 who were evaluated for dementia annually with memory screening done by telephone. The authors wrote, “To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the long-term association of antioxidant supplement use and dementia incidence among asymptomatic men.” The results were published online in the March 20, 2017, issue of JAMA Neurology.
Kryscio RJ, AGner EL, Caban-Holt A, et al: Association of Antioxidant Supplement Use and Dementia in the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease by Vitamin E and Selenium Trial (PREADViSE). JAMA Neurol. Published online March 20, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.5778