Thursday, August 30, 2012

Potassium, calcium, magnesium intakes linked to reduced risk of dementia

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By David Liu, PHD

 ( -- A new study in Journal of American Geriatrics Society suggests that taking potassium, calcium and magnesium supplements or eating foods high in these minerals may help prevent some forms of dementia, but not Alzheimer's disease.

The study led by M. Ozawa of Kyushu University om Fukuoka Japan and colleagues showed that all-cause dementia was 48 percent, 36 percent, and 37 percent less likely among people with highest intakes of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, respectively, compared to those who had low levels.

A total of 1081 community dwelling Japanese people without dementia aged 60 or older participated in the study in which 303 participants were found to have all-cause dementia including 98 vascular dementia and 166 Alzheimer's disease during a 17-year follow-up.

Participants who had highest intakes of potassium, calcium and magnesium were 80 percent, 77 percent and 74 percent less likely to develop vascular dementia, respectively, compared to those who had lowest intakes.

But these minerals were not associated with risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers concluded that high dietary intakes of potassium,calcium, and magnesium reduce risk of all cause dementia, particularly vascular dementia in the general Japanese population.

Alzheimer's disease is a major form of dementia affecting an estimated 5 million Americans. There is no cure for Alzheimer's but research suggests that the disease is preventable.

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