New Hope for Vitamin E: Supplements May Slow Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

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The latest study shows vitamin E may have more benefits than memory drugs in combating the disease.

For patients with mild to moderate forms of the neurodegenerative disorder, a daily dose of 2,000 IUs of vitamin E safely and effectively slowed the functional decline of Alzheimer’s, according to the study published in JAMA.

Researchers from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System split a group of 613 Alzheimer’s patients at 14 Veterans Affairs medical centers into three groups. One group got the dosage of vitamin E, another received the drug memantine–which can preserve nerve function in patients with Alzheimer’s–and a third group got a placebo.

Over the follow-up time of 2.3 years, those who received vitamin E showed slower decline in their ability to perform daily activities such as planning, making meals and shopping, than participants receiving the placebo. The annual rate of such decline among those receiving vitamin E was reduced by 19 percent, which translated to a slowdown in the progression of these daily functions of 6.2 months.  The memantine did not have the same clinical benefit.

(MORE: Docs Say Stop Taking Multivitamins)

While exciting, the findings add to the confusion over the emerging research suggesting that supplements have little or no health benefits. Increasingly, studies show that the best way to get nutrients is through a healthy diet. But the current study’s author Dr. Maurice W. Dysken, of Minneapolis VA Health Care System, says Alzheimer’s disease may be somewhat of an exception. “We consider vitamin E more like a medication than a supplement,” he says of its use in Alzheimer’s patients. “The dosage in a multivitamin is much lower. We found our dosage to be safe.”

An average dose of vitamin E in supplements is generally around 400 IU, whereas the researchers used 2,000 IU.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Denis A. Evans of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago wrote that as with most Alzheimer’s trials, the effect was still modest, and likely would be more relevant to treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease rather than reversing it. The study also did not show any benefit in reducing cognitive decline or memory loss. “The importance of treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease is clear, but finding the best balance between treatment and prevention efforts is challenging for this grim disease affecting millions of people from all developed countries,” he says. But if patients can remain independent for longer periods of time while taking Vitamin E, that could relieve some of the burden on their caregivers. So while experts aren’t ready to recommend that patients start taking the higher doses of Vitamin E, they are eager to continue investigating what role the supplements may have in controlling some of the deficits associated with Alzheimer’s;

12 comments
Moneyshot
Moneyshot

My Mom has been taking Vitamin E for years.  She is now in stage 7 of Alzheimer's.  Recently I found a study about how Aloe Vera Improves Alzheimer’s. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22976077

I had my mom take three capsules (opened and sprinkled on yogurt) twice a day. After one week she was walking instead of needing a wheelchair and playing the piano. She was sleeping through the night where as before she would try to get up and fall. She can now have a conversation where as before only mumbled. I wanted to share this product and hope others who have loved ones with Alzheimer's might see the same results.

To order go to: 
ALT•MED Labs, Inc.
https://altmedlabs.com/shop/aloe-polymannose-multi-nutrient-complex-apmc-500/
In the apply discount window put "bewell" for 10% off your order.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

You realize, of course, that the medical consensus is that vitamin pills just make expensive urine. It has been for several decades now. And one study doesn't change anything until it's been independently verified many times.

davidrjl
davidrjl

I teach a post grad course for health care professionals on brain health and nutrition. Natural Vitamin E helps to protect the outside of neurons against oxidation, calcium leakage and related damage, but it can't help the inside. Dr. Thomas Shea at UMass-Lowell has found that for this a variety of other nutrients are also needed including N-acetyl-cysteine, folic acid, B-12, acetyl-L-carnitine and SAMe. He has a study coming out later this year on that formula showing a much more significant benefit. See my latest posts for additional insight on this subject at 4abettermemory.com also the Multivitamin issue. Keep in mind only natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol, or mixed tocopherols) will work synthetic vitamin E will not. That's why we see such mixed results at times. 

ShamsAci
ShamsAci

HEALTH AWARENESS WELFARE (HAW): 


The research report that 'New Hope for Vitamin E: Supplements May Slow Symptoms of Alzheimer’s' sounds great. Hope for the best forever.

   - A.R.Shams's Reflection - Press / Online Publications - Moral Messages Worldwide

*Hollis
*Hollis

Wasn't testing just done which showed vitamins might actually be non-effective if not bad for us?  Liver damage was mentioned...  Could all these folks conducting these tests make up their minds? 

GregoryAshby
GregoryAshby

According to the research team, led by Dr. Maurice W. Dysken of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, previous studies have looked at the use of alpha tocopherol - a form of vitamin E that also acts as an antioxidant - in patients with severe Alzheimer's disease.

The link you provide for a vitamin E supplement (natures made dl alpha supplement)

is synthetic. The form used in the study is d alpha tocopherol, the natural version.

Please correct this.

BabuG.Ranganathan
BabuG.Ranganathan

ALOE VERA NOURISHMENT, HEALING, AND PREVENTION OF DISEASE: Numerous scientific studies at universities and colleges have shown that the Aloe vera  plant is loaded with a myriad of nutrients (i.e. a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids) which all together help prevent all sorts of disease and to heal disease (i.e. high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc.). Drinking aloe vera juice (a whole food) daily is one of the most nutritious things you can do for your body. If you have a condition, take 12 oz. daily and see what the result is after 6 months. Aloe vera isn't just for topical use on skin!
 
Read my popular Internet article, CHEMOTHERAPY SUCCESS WITH ALOE VERA! This is a must read article for all those diagnosed with cancer or who have a loved one who is. Just google the title to access the article. There are properties in aloe vera that greatly strengthen the immune system and help protect the immune system and healthy cells from being destroyed by chemo and radiation. The result is that (when taking aloe vera juice duing chemo/radiation) the cancer cells are destroyed while the immune system and more of the healthy cells survive. The properties in aloe vera also help chemo/radiation patients suffer a lot less side effects from the chemo/radiation treatments.

As a daily routine for good health, adults should take at least 8 oz. of aloe vera juice daily, and children should take at least 4 oz. daily. And, yes, you can give your pets this too. Pour a couple of tablespoons daily in their water dish.

Babu G. Ranganathan
(B.A. Bible/Biology)

THE BEST WEAPON AGAINST GERMS OF ALL KINDS is colloidal silver. Germs, including viruses of all types, cannot develop resistance to colloidal silver.

Please read my Internet article, PROTECT YOUR BODY WITH COLLOIDAL SILVER. Just google the title to access the article.

Babu G. Ranganathan
B.A. Bible/Biology

davidrjl
davidrjl

@*Hollis  To understand what's going on here. Read: 

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/apr2009_Dietary-Supplements-Under-Attack_01.htm

Bottom line is that it depends what type of vitamin E is used. Truly natural works, synthetics do not. But not all researchers realize that, and it appears that some conduct studies with synthetics just to cast doubt on the value of any nutritional approach,  because good nutrition usually trumps higher cost drugs/synthetics in good head to head studies. 

rpearlston
rpearlston

@*Hollis It's not a matter of anyone making up their mind.

Medical advances don't stay on the cutting edge for very long.  There is almost constant research on just about everything,and what was cutting edge even a little a five years later can easily become obsolete.

Research, such as this study, continues no matter what some people may want, simply because human beings always need answers, and the human race would quickly begin to stagnate.  Research also fills the dreams of just about every child.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@BabuG.Ranganathan  You've forgotten something here.  You're touting (so do many others, including many MD's) colloidal silver as being an effective supplement for everyone, simply because it helps to boost the immune system.

I want to thank you for recommending something tath can make my health even worse that it already is.  Why?  It's because I have an autoimmune form of arthritis, and it's the autoimmune part that causes the problems with this.  ALL autoimmune problems are the result of an immune system that's already in overdrive.  In fact, if we are being treated properly (and that depends on the type of illness), meaning if we are on meds that slow down our immune systems, then immunosupportive agents are the last thing that we needs.

Thanks for trying to making us sicker than we already are.