Effect of one-year vitamin C- and E-supplementation on cerebrospinal fluid oxidation parameters and clinical course in Alzheimer's disease

Neurochem Res. 2012 Dec;37(12):2706-14. doi: 10.1007/s11064-012-0860-8. Epub 2012 Aug 10.


Antioxidant vitamins are being widely discussed as a therapeutic option in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We recently found that supplementation with vitamin C and E over 1 month leads to an increase of their levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and a reduction of CSF lipid peroxidation. In the present study, we followed-up the biochemical and clinical effect of vitamin C and E supplementation in an open clinical trial over 1 year. Twelve AD patients stably taking a cholinesterase inhibitor were supplemented with vitamin C (1,000 mg/day) and E (400 I.U./day), while 11 patients taking cholinergic medication only served as a control group. Cognition was assessed at baseline, after 6 months and 12 months using the Mini-Mental State Examination; a more detailed testing of cognitive function was performed at baseline and after 12 months. From eight of the vitamin-supplemented patients, CSF was taken at baseline, after 1 month and after 1 year to measure the antioxidant effect of vitamin supplementation on CSF lipids using a recently established in vitro oxidation assay. CSF antioxidant vitamins were significantly increased after 1 month and 1 year of supplementation, while in vitro oxidation of CSF lipids was significantly reduced only after 1 year of the supplementation. The clinical course of AD did not significantly differ between the vitamin and the control group. We conclude that supplementation with vitamins E and C did not have a significant effect on the course of AD over 1 year despite of a limited antioxidant effect that could be observed in CSF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*


  • Vitamin E
  • Ascorbic Acid