Memory loss can be a natural part of aging and there are strategies to keep your mind sharp in older age, however, dietary supplements are probably not going help you remember where you put your keys. In fact, some supplements can be the cause of more health problems than they solve and once again, most research points towards eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein, lower fat dairy and whole grains as the best way to achieve optimal health as we age – along with regular exercise of course.
Vitamin E, for example, has long been touted for it’s antioxidant potential to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, in addition to improving eyesight and maintaining a glowing complexion.
Here’s the most current research out of University of California Berkeley, where vitamin E was first discovered in 1922:
- High doses of vitamin E does not reduce heart attacks.
- Although vitamin E may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke by 10 per cent, it may increase the risk of hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke up to 22 per cent and therefore is not widely recommended.
- Antioxidant supplements including vitamin E, do not prolong life, according to a review of studies that included nearly 500,000 people.
- Not only does current research indicate that vitamin E does not improve health, it may slightly increase risk of death.
- Current research found that men who took 400IU of vitamin E a day over 5 years had an increased risk of prostate cancer of 17 per cent compared with those taking a placebo.
- Although a 2005 study found that high doses of vitamins C and E resulted in a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, the finding have yet to be replicated and no further evidence supports this claim.
- Vitamin E and C alone, or in combination have not been shown to lower the risk of cataracts but may play a role in treatment of macular degeneration. Vitamin E has not been shown to delay or prevent the condition.
Your best bet for fighting disease that stands the test of time remains the same: stay active and eat a well-rounded diet, getting your nutrients from fresh foods including:
- Nuts and seeds,
- Vegetable oils
- Whole grains
- Leafy greens
- Tomato sauce
- Red peppers
Think of a Mediterranean diet to achieve optimal health rather than filling your shelves and draining your wallet with supplements that may do more harm than good. To learn more about Mediterranean style cooking’s health benefits visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801 .