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Vitamin E Slows Decline in Alzheimer's

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerJanuary 6, 2014

A new study from The Journal of the American Medical Association has found that vitamin E can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease in patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s. Researchers found those participants who took a high dosage of vitamin E were able to function more independently for longer than those did not take the supplement. 

What is Vitamin E? 

Similar to vitamin B, vitamin E is actually a collective name for a group of compounds. While some foods naturally have vitamin E, it can be taken as a supplement or added to other foods. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. In addition it boosts the body’s immune system and plays an integral role in health and wellness. 

The Role of Vitamin E and Alzheimer’s Disease

The study from the Journal of the American Medial Association was one of the most comprehensive studies ever involving patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. The study began in 2007 and ended in 2012 and included over 600 patients from 14 VA hospitals nationwide. Half of the participants received a high dose of vitamin E while the other half received a placebo pill. Those who received the supplement had a smaller decline in their abilities to complete activities of daily living than those who received the placebo. 

Exactly why vitamin E slows Alzheimer’s is not known.  It could be that its antioxidant powers that protect cells from damage. While vitamin E was shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in those who are already diagnosed, researchers say there is no evidence that it prevents Alzheimer’s. They say a better way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to eat healthy and exercise regularly. 

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin E?

Even though vitamin E has not been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s it is important that the vitamin is included in a well balanced diet. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults over the age of 14 is 22.4 IU per day. The participants in the study received 2,000 IU every day. 

Foods that have vitamin E include: 

  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Spinach
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli

Has your loved one used vitamin E to slow the progression of their Alzheimer’s? Is it something you would consider? 

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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