by: Elizabeth Renter
July 25, 2012
Scientists are cautious about saying with any certainty that vitamin E may have preventative effects on Alzheimer’s disease, but recent studies are promising. According to Reuters, elderly adults who get more vitamin E in their diet may be at a decreased risk for the degenerative disease. Scientists found this in a study that looked at the effects of vitamin E over an extended period of time. The research indicates that if you want to know how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, vitamin E should be one of many vitamins included in your diet.
How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease with Vitamins
The study was published in the Archives of Neurology, and while the results don’t prove that vitamin E can protect the brain from aging, results show that it might be related to a lower risk of dementia.
Prior studies hadn’t followed participants for as long as this one did, and prior studies came to conflicting results.
This particular study looked at how vitamin E, an antioxidant, may protect the brain cells from degeneration. It involved 5,400 Dutch adults and found the one-third of participants who had the highest vitamin E intake were 25% less likely to develop dementia.
All participants were dementia-free at the beginning of the study. They were interviewed about their dietary habits and scientists used this information to estimate the amount of vitamin E, C, and beta-carotene being taken in.
In the following 10 years, 465 of the study participants were diagnosed with dementia. Of those with the highest vitamin E intake, 120 were diagnosed. Of those with the lowest levels, 164 were.
That “highest” vitamin E group was getting about 18.5 mg of vitamin E daily, just more than the recommended 15 mg daily intake.
Scientists say the study doesn’t say with certainty that vitamin E prevents dementia, though it does suggest a link. “According to Breteler’s team, studies should continue to look at the relationship between antioxidant intake and dementia – including whether antioxidant consumption at different points in life might have different effects on dementia risk.”
In the meantime, vitamin E has definite benefits in addition to this latest potential link. It is linked to a healthy heart, treating diabetes, and potentially preventing cancer. It can reportedly increase muscle strength and stave off soreness, encourage eye health, prevent skin disorders, and fight infertility. The list goes on…
Natural sources of vitamin E include:
- Greens including mustards, turnips, collards, kale, chard, and spinach
- Sunflower seeds
- Bell peppers