April 24, 2010

According to a new study published on April 22, 2010 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, high intake of Vitamin E in all forms may help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
The study led by Mangialasche, F. and colleagues from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden discovered that among study participants, high serum levels of vitamin E were associated with approximately a 50 percent reduction in the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Mangialasche et al. examined 232 men and women aged 80 or older. In this study, he discovered a correlation between plasma levels of eight forms of vitamin E and risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The blood samples from the subjects, who were dementia-free at baseline, were analyzed to determine plasma levels of vitamin E (alpha-, beta-, gamma, and delta-tocopherol; alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol). The subjects were then followed up for 6 years to record any incidents of Alzheimer's disease.
The risk of Alzheimer's disease was reduced by 45 percent among participants who had their total tocopherols in the highest tertile, 54 percent among those whose total tocotrienols were in the highest tertile and 45 percent in those who had their total vitamin E in the highest tertile, compared to those in the lowest tertile.
When individual vitamin E compounds were considered, only beta tocopherol was associated with a 48 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. Alpha-tocopherol, alpha-tocotrienols and beta-tocotrienols showed approximately a 30 percent reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers concluded that high plasma levels of vitamin E are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease in elderly people. A combination of individual vitamin E compounds may be more effective than any individual vitamin E. Foods rich in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) include vegetable oils, nuts and vegetables. Vegetable oils include olive oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and nuts include almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts. Spinach, carrots, and avocado are also vitamin E rich.

David Liu and editing by Victoria Rodriguez Baziuk