The Benefits of Vitamin E in Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s diseases is a debilitating condition that can interfere with your daily activities. Patients who suffer from this condition experiences fast decline in their cognitive functioning. Good news is, there is a new study that was published in JAMA which suggests that taking vitamin E supplements may help slow down the symptoms associated with the disease as well as reduce the care needed by the patients.

Vitamin E is an important vitamin which helps increase the energy level, protect the cells from being damaged by free radicals, slow aging, and treat other diseases such as diabetes, cancer, pre-menstrual syndrome, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. You can introduce more vitamin E to your diet by eating more fruits, vegetables, eggs, cereals, poultry, wheat germ oil and meat.

alzheimer disease

The team of researchers headed by Dr. Maurice W. Dysken reviewed the past studies regarding the antioxidant benefits of a type of vitamin E known as tocoperol in patients with sever cases of Alzheimer’s disease. The result of the previous research has shown that vitamin E can slow down the progression of the disease. Nevertheless, the researchers were not able to prove whether vitamin E also provides the same benefits on patients with mild to moderate form of the Alzheimer’s disease.

To find out, the the researchers included 613 patients who takes acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which helps increase the duration and level of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. During the study, 155 of the patients were given a 20 mg of memantine per day or the drug used as a treatment for the disease while 152 patients were given a dose of vitamin daily and 154 patients were given both memantine and vitamin E  and the remaining 152 had a placebo drug.

The researchers monitored the changes in the patients functional decline throughout the study, they gathered the data using the ADCS-ADL or  Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living after 2.3 years on average.

Vitamin E helps halt the progression of the disease and reduce the care needs of the patients

The result shows that the patient who took vitamin E had a slowed their functional decline by 19% than those who took the placebo. They stated that the significant result is similar to a “clinically meaningful delay in progression” for at least 6 months. Moreover, the patients who received the vitamin E supplement has reduced more care needed from a relative or aid. The researchers noted that the benefits of vitamin E can greatly impact the lives of the patients suffering of Alzheimer’s Disease.

No need to increase your intake of Vitamin E to take advantage of its benefits

Although vitamin E may produce a promising result, there’s no need to increase your intake just yet, because a dosage higher than the recommended levels which is 1,500 IU per day may cause severe side effects on others. The director of research and development of the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kindom, Doug Brown, stated “While this study into the link between vitamin E intake and reduction in functional decline is of interest, it is by no means conclusive. More research is needed to see if vitamin E really does have benefits for people with dementia, and whether it would be safe to be taking such a high dose on a daily basis”.

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