Antioxidant and B vitamin intake in relation to cognitive function in later life in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936

G. McNeill, X. Jia, L. J. Whalley, H. C. Fox, J. Corley, A. J. Gow, C. E. Brett, J. M. Starr, I. J. Deary

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    Background/Objectives: Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies provide some evidence for an association between intake of antioxidants and B vitamins, and cognitive function in later life, but intervention studies have not provided clear evidence of beneficial effects. The possibility that those with higher cognitive ability during earlier adult life consume more nutrient-rich diets in later life could provide an alternative explanation for the associations seen in observational studies.

    Methods: Survey of 1091 men and women born in 1936 living in Edinburgh, Scotland, in whom previous cognitive ability was available from intelligence quotient (IQ) measurements at age 11 years. At age 70 years, participants carried out a range of cognitive tests and completed a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ).

    Results: A total of 882 participants returned completed FFQs from which intake of beta-carotene, vitamin C, B12, folate and riboflavin was estimated. IQ at age 11 years was positively associated with dietary intake of vitamin C (P=0.048) and inversely associated with dietary intake of riboflavin (P

    Conclusion: These results provide no evidence for a clinically significant beneficial association between intake of these antioxidants and B vitamins, and cognitive function at age 70 years. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2011) 65, 619-626; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.2; published online 23 February 2011

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)619-626
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011


    • risk
    • Alzheimers disease
    • dietary supplements
    • dementia
    • Homocysteine
    • vitamin B complex
    • decline
    • aged
    • antioxidants
    • women
    • controlled trial
    • physical activity
    • folic-acid supplementation
    • older people
    • cognition

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