Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-2bg86 Total loading time: 0.001 Render date: 2023-09-29T18:16:27.941Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Dietary antioxidant intake and cognitive performance in middle-aged adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2007

James M Peacock
Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015, USA
Aaron R Folsom*
Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015, USA
David S Knopman
Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Thomas H Mosley
Department of Medicine (Geriatrics), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA
David C Goff Jr
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Moyses Szklo
Department of Epidemiology, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA
*Corresponding author: Email
Rights & Permissions [Opens in a new window]


Core share and HTML view are not possible as this article does not have html content. However, as you have access to this content, a full PDF is available via the ‘Save PDF’ action button.

To assess the cross-sectional association of dietary and supplemental antioxidant (carotenoids, vitamins C and E) intake with cognitive function in 12 187 individuals, aged 48–67 years, participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study.


Dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins, as assessed by a food frequency questionnaire, and use of supplements were analysed in relation to the results of three cognitive tests, the delayed word recall test, the Wechsler adult intelligence scale, revised (WAIS-R) digit symbol subtest and the word fluency test.


After adjustment for covariates previously found to be associated with cognition in this sample, we found no consistent associations between dietary antioxidant vitamin intake or supplement use and any of the cognitive tests.


This study suggests little, if any, association between antioxidant vitamin intake and better cognitive function in middle-aged adults.

Research Article
Copyright © CABI Publishing 2000


1Evans, DA, Funkenstein, HH, Albert, MS, et al. Prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in a community population of older persons: higher than previously reported. JAMA 1989; 262: 2551–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
2Bachman, DL, Wolf, PA, Linn, R, et al. Prevalence of dementia and probable senile dementia of the Alzheimer type in the Framingham Study. Neurology 1992; 42: 115–19.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
3Packer, L, Miramatsu, M, Toshikawa, T. Free Radicals in Brain Physiology and Disorders. San Diego: Academic Press, 1996.Google Scholar
4Tohgi, H, Abe, T, Nakanishi, M, Hamato, F, Sasaki, K, Takahashi, S.Concentrations of alpha-tocopherol and its quinone derivative in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with vascular dementia of the Binswanger type and Alzheimer type dementia. Neurosci. Lett. 1994; 174: 73–6.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
5Zaman, Z, Roche, S, Fielden, P, Frost, PG, Niriella, DC, Cayley, ACD. Plasma concentrations of vitamins A and E and carotenoids in Alzheimer's disease. Age Ageing 1992; 21: 91–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6Jama, JW, Launer, LJ, Wittemen, JCM, et al. Dietary antioxidants and cognitive function in a population-based sample of older persons. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1996; 144(3): 275–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
7Perrig, WJ, Perrig, P, Stähelin, HB. The relation between antioxidants and memory performance in the old and very old. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 1997; 45: 718–24.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
8Perkins, AJ, Hendrie, HC, Callahan, CM, et al. Association of antioxidants with memory in a multiethnic sample using the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1999; 150(1): 3744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
9Paleologos, M, Cumming, RG, Lazarus, R.Cohort study of vitamin C intake and cognitive impairment. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1998; 148(1): 4550.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
10Mendelsohn, AB, Belle, SH, Stoehr, GP, Ganguli, M.Use of antioxidant supplements and its association with cognitive function in a rural elderly cohort: the MoVIES Project. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1998; 148(1): 3844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
11Sano, M, Ernesto, C, Thomas, RG, et al. A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer's disease. N. Engl. J. Med. 1997; 336: 1216–22.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
12Srám, RJ, Binková, B, Topinka, J, et al. Effect of antioxidant supplementation in an elderly population. In: Bronzetti, G. et al. , eds. Antimutagenesis and Anticarcinogenesis Mechanisms, Vol. III. New York: Plenum Press, 1993; 459–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
13Cerhan, JR, Folsom, AR, Mortimer, JA, et al. Correlates of cognitive function in middle-aged adults. Gerontology 1998; 44: 95105.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
14ARIC Investigators. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study: design and objectives. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1989; 129: 687702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
15Knopman, DS, Ryberg, S.A verbal memory test with high predictive accuracy for dementia of the Alzheimer type. Arch. Neurol. 1989; 46: 141–5.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
16Wechsler, D. WAIS-R Manual. Cleveland: The Psychologic Corporation, 1981.Google Scholar
17Lezak, MD. Neurological Assessment, 2nd edn. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.Google Scholar
18Benton, AL, Hamsher, K. Multilingual Aphasia Examination, 2nd edn. Iowa City: AJA Associates, 1989.Google Scholar
19Wechsler, D. The Measurement and Appraisal of Adult Intelligence. Baltimore: Williams and Williams, 1958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
20Russell, EW. A WAIS factor analysis with brain damaged subjects using criterion measures. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 1972; 39: 133–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
21Tranel, D.Neuropsychological assessment. Psychiatr. Clin. North Am. 1992; 15: 283–99.Google ScholarPubMed
22Franzen, MD. Multilingual aphasia examination. In: Keyser, DJ, Sweetland, RC, eds. Test Critiques, Vol. 5. Kansas City: Test Corporation of America, 1986; 278–82.Google Scholar
23Willett, WC, Sampson, L, Stampfer, MJ, et al. Reproducibility and validity of a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1985; 122: 5165.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
24Stevens, J, Metcalf, PA, Dennis, BH, Tell, GS, Shimakawa, T, Folsom, AR. Reliability of a food frequency questionnaire by ethnicity, gender, age, and education. Nutr. Res. 1996; 16(5): 735–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
25Bond, MG, Barnes, RW, Riley, WA, et al. High resolution B-mode ultrasound scanning methods in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) cohort. J. Neuroimag. 1991; 1: 6873.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
26Riley, WA, Barnes, RW, Bond, MG, Evans, GW, Chambless, LE, Heiss, G, for the ARIC Study Group. High resolution B-mode ultrasound reading methods in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort. J. Neuroimag. 1991; 1: 168–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
27Dempster, AP, Laird, NM, Rubin, DB. Maximum likelihood from incomplete data via the EM algorithm (with discussion). J. Roy. Stat. Soc. 1977; B39: 138.Google Scholar
28Clauss, A.Gerinnungsphysiologische Schnellmethode zur Bestimmung des Fibrinogens. Acta Haematol. 1957; 17: 237–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
29Appels, A, Höppener, P, Mulder, P.A questionnaire to assess premonitory symptoms of myocardial infarction. Int. J. Cardiol. 1987; 17: 1524.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
30Schneider, LS. New therapeutic approaches to Alzheimer's disease. J. Clin. Psychiatry 1996; 57(Suppl. 14): 30–6.Google ScholarPubMed
31Parnetti, L, Senin, U, Mecocci, P.Cognitive enhancement therapy for Alzheimer's disease: the way forward. Drugs 1997; 53(5): 752–68.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
32Benton, D, Fordy, J, Haller, J.The impact of long-term vitamin supplementation on cognitive functioning. Psychopharmacology 1995; 117: 298305.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed