Vicki's Blog

  • Vitamin E May Slow Alzheimer's Decline

    A capsule a day may keep dementia at bay, according to new research that suggests that a daily dose of vitamin E may help to slow functional decline for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and may help reduce the amount of care these patients need. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound and an antioxidant. Researchers don't know how vitamin E might help, but the vitamin is naturally found in many foods and beverages like red wine, grapes, some teas, eggs, fortified cereals, fruit, green leafy vegetables, meat, nuts, poultry and vegetable oils. It can also be taken as a supplement. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage that can contribute to other diseases.



    The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that over a little more than two years, high-doses of vitamin E slowed the decline of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s by about six months on average. While it didn’t slow down mental decline (the defining factor of Alzheimers) it did lengthen the amount of time the patients were able to perform daily tasks without assistance by two hours. This doesn’t mean that everyone should rush out and stock up on vitamin E as it failed to prevent healthy people from developing dementia and it failed to help those with mild impairment ("pre-Alzheimer's") in other studies.



    While all this might not seem like a huge step in Alzheimers research, it does give some credence to the notion that high-doses of  vitamin E may be doing something. Vitamin E has given doctors and patients another option to use as the disease progresses. About 35 million people worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer's is the most common type. In the U.S., about 5 million have Alzheimer's. There is no cure and current medications just temporarily ease symptoms. However, with this breakthrough with vitamin E, researchers may be able to gain a leg up on the disease.

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