Can Vitamin E Really Fight off Dementia?

July 21, 2010

New, longer-term results from the Rotterdam Study examine the link between vitamin E and dementia risk.

Adding to previously released findings from the Rotterdam Study, which found higher dietary intakes of vitamins E and C to be related to lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease during 6 years of follow-up, new results were just published in the Archives of Neurology that looked at the link after a mean follow-up of 9.6 years.

After looking at 5,395 participants who were age 55 years or older, free of dementia, and provided dietary information at baseline, the study researchers found that 465 participants developed dementia, 100 less of whom were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After adjusting for age, education,apolipoprotein E 4 genotype, total energy intake, alcohol intake,smoking habits, body mass index, and supplement use, they determined that higher baseline intake of vitamin E was associated with lower long-term dementia risk. In fact, those who consumed the most vitamin E were 25% less likely to develop dementia than those who consumed the least.

No association with dementia risk was seen with vitamin C, beta carotene, or flavonoids.

Further, similar findings to the above were found when looking specifically at Alzheimer’s disease.

More on the Rotterdam Study

  • Rotterdam Study — Wikipedia page
  • Dietary Intake of Menaquinone Is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: The Rotterdam Study
  • The Rotterdam Study: 2010 Objectives and Design Update

In what Foods can Vitamin E Be Found?

The Office of Dietary Supplements says the following about Vitamin E:

“Vitamin E is found naturally in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. "Vitamin E" is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities [1].”

“Numerous foods provide vitamin E. Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are among the best sources of alpha-tocopherol, and significant amounts are available in green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals (see Table 2 for a more detailed list) [7]. Most vitamin E in American diets is in the form of gamma-tocopherol from soybean, canola, corn, and other vegetable oils and food products [4].”