by Ari Magill, MD
Investigators evaluated the effect of total vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene consumption on cognitive performance over a period of three years, using neurological testing.1 Results revealed that subjects with the highest vitamin E intake, from food sources and supplementation, had significantly less cognitive deterioration compared to subjects with the lowest levels.
Scientists examined the correlation between plasma levels of the vitamin and the occurrence of dementia and cognitive impairment.2 They enrolled 1033 seniors who donated their blood for determination of vitamin E level, answered questions about their diet and lifestyle, and completed clinical and neuropsychological testing. Participants with the lowest plasma levels of vitamin E were more than twice as likely to demonstrate dementia or MCI.
Researchers compared serum tocopherol levels (see Sidebar) in patients with age-related cognitive decline and MCI to normal controls.3 They included 31 articles into their metanalysis and evaluated the full complement of subtypes (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). Results showed significantly lower alpha tocopherol levels in those with cognitive impairment vs the normal group. The blood levels of the other tocopherols did not significantly differ between the cohorts.
What is Vitamin E’s Makeup?
Morris Water Maze
From the Laboratory
- Morris MC, et al. Vitamin E and cognitive decline in older persons. Arch Neurol. 2002;59(7):1125-1132. doi: 10.1001/archneur.59.7.1125.
- Cherubini A, et al. Vitamin E levels, cognitive impairment and dementia in older persons: the InCHIANTI study. Neurobiol Aging. 2005;26(7):987-994. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2004.09.002.
- Takatsu H, et al. Effect of vitamin E on learning and memory deficit in aged rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2009;55(5):389-393. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.55.389.
- Higdon J, Drake VJ, Delage B. Vitamin E Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2015. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-E.
- Bradley-Whitman MA, Lovell MA. Biomarkers of lipid peroxidation in Alzheimer disease (AD): an update. Arch Toxicol. 2015;89(7):1035-1044. doi: 10.1007/s00204-015-1517-6.
- Miller III ER, et al. Meta-analysis: high-dosage vitamin E supplementation may increase all-cause mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(1):37-46. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-142-1-200501040-00110.
- Abner EL, et al. Vitamin E and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis. Curr Aging Sci. 2011;4(2):158-170. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030744/
- Pavlik VN, et al. Vitamin E use is associated with improved survival in an Alzheimer’s disease cohort. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord.2009;28(6):536-540. doi: 10.1159/000255105.
- Steiner M. Influence of vitamin E on platelet function in humans. J Am Coll Nutr. 1991;10(5):466-473. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1991.10718173.
- Arrozi AP, et al. Comparative effects of alpha-and gamma-tocopherol on mitochondrial functions in Alzheimer’s disease in vitro model. Sci Rep.2020;10(1):8962. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65570-4.