Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of vitamin E, which could be a risk factor when determining the cause or progression of the condition, according to new research.
The Manchester Metropolitan University study analysed data from 33 other studies, concluding that that those with age-related cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease had a lower concentration of vitamin E compared with healthy age-matched controls.
The findings, published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, supports previous evidence on the potential association of vitamin E with Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin E can be found in foods such as soya, corn and olive oils, cereals, and nuts and seeds.
Dr Chris Murgatroyd, from the Centre for Bioscience at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “Vitamin E is an essential dietary requirement for the body and has been associated in healthy brain function.
“The lack of vitamin E in our diet has been progressively examined as a potential independent risk factor of age-related cognitive decline and dementia, so high intake in our diet through eating things such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, or through supplements could be a benefit in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
Vitamin E has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and many of the studies analysed demonstrated the beneficial effects of vitamin E supplementation. Benefits include reducing inflammation, supporting cell signalling around the body, and the function of the immune system and its influence on Alzheimer’s disease.
The antioxidants in vitamin E could also help counteract oxidative stress – an imbalance of chemicals in the body, which often has an impact on the development of neurodegenerative disorders. Antioxidants and their supplements have been proposed by researchers as a preventative measure.