Tags: vitamin E | reduces | Alzheimer's risk | components of vitamin E | prevent cognitive deterioration

Vitamin E Reduces Alzheimer's Risk

Thursday, 08 Jul 2010 08:45 AM

High levels of vitamin E in the blood reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in old age, says a new study. Italian and Swedish researchers found that several components of vitamin E helped prevent cognitive deterioration in people 80 years of age and older.

"Vitamin E is a family of eight natural components, but most studies related to Alzheimer's disease investigate only one of these components, tocopherol," Dr. Francesca Mangialasche, who led the study, said in a statement. "We hypothesized that all the vitamin E family members could be important in protecting against AD. If confirmed, this result has implications for both individuals and society, as 70 percent of all dementia cases in the general population occur in people more than 75 years of age, and the study suggests a protective effect of vitamin E against AD in individuals aged 80 plus."

The researchers studied 232 people who were 80 years or older and were free of dementia at the beginning of the study. After six years, they identified 57 cases of Alzheimer's disease.

At the beginning of the study, the blood levels of all eight natural components of vitamin E were measured. People with higher blood levels were compared with those subjects who had lower blood levels. The scientists found that seniors with the higher blood levels of all the forms of vitamin E reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer's by 45 to 54 percent, depending on the levels of specific components.

Mangialasche noted that the protective effect of vitamin E appears to be related to the combination of the different forms. Along this line, another recent study suggested that supplements containing high doses of the tocopherol component of vitamin E may increase mortality, indicating that such dietary supplements, if not balanced in the body, may be more harmful than previously thought.

"Elderly people as a group are large consumers of vitamin E supplements, which usually contain only tocopherol, and this is often at high doses," says Mangialasche. "Our findings need to be confirmed by other studies, but they open up the possibility that the balanced presence of different vitamin E forms can have an important neuroprotective effect."

According to the Alzheimer's Association, 5.3 million Americans have the disease, and it is the seventh leading cause of death.


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High levels of vitamin E in the blood reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in old age, says a new study. Italian and Swedish researchers found that several components of vitamin E helped prevent cognitive deterioration in people 80 years of age and older.
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2010-45-08
Thursday, 08 Jul 2010 08:45 AM
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