Vitamin E cuts Alzheimer's risk
Reported November 12, 2010
A Swedish study has revealed that high levels
of several vitamin E components in the blood are associated with a decreased
risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in advanced age.
The research has suggested that vitamin E may help prevent cognitive
deterioration in elderly people.
"Vitamin E is a family of eight natural components, but most studies related
to Alzheimer s disease investigate only one of these components, tocopherol,”
said Dr. Francesca Mangialasche, who led the study.
"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 over 75 years of age, and the study suggests a
protective effect of vitamin E against AD in individuals aged 80 plus,"
The study was conducted at the Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska
Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, in collaboration with the Institute of
Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Perugia, Italy.
The study included a sample of 232 participants from the Kungsholmen
Project, a population-based longitudinal study on aging and dementia in
Stockholm (Kungsholmen parish). All participants were aged 80 plus 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
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
After adjusting for various confounders, the risk was reduced by 45-54
percent, depending on the vitamin E component.
The study has been published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of
Alzheimer s Disease.