Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Is Vitamin E Good?

Experts now suggest that vitamin E may help prevent cognitive deterioration in elderly people. This is the conclusion reached in a Swedish study published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to the lead scientist, vitamin E is a family of eight natural components, but most studies related to Alzheimer’s disease investigate only one of these components, ±-tocopherol.  The scientists hypothesized that all the vitamin E family members could be important in protecting against AD. 

“Important findings,” declared Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance as over two thirds of all dementia cases occur in people over 75 years of age.  The study suggests a protective effect of vitamin E against AD in individuals aged 80 and over.

The study was conducted at the Aging Research Center (ARC) in Stockholm, Sweden. All participants were aged 80+ years and were dementia-free at the beginning of the study (baseline). After 6-years of follow-up, 57 AD cases were identified.

The blood levels of all eight natural vitamin E components were measured at the beginning of the study. Subjects with higher blood levels (highest tertile) were compared with subjects who had lower blood levels (lowest tertile) to verify whether these two groups developed dementia at different rates. 

The study found that subjects with higher blood levels of all the vitamin E family forms had a reduced risk of developing AD, compared to subjects with lower levels. After adjusting for various confounders, the risk was reduced by 45-54%, depending on the vitamin E component.

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