Mixed vitamin E tocopherols may offer greater protection against Alzheimer’s disease than vitamin E alone, according to a recent report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The vitamin E family consists of four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Alpha tocopherol is the most common form of vitamin E found in dietary supplements, while gamma tocopherol is the most prevalent form in food. Researchers have previously noted that vitamin E from food sources, but not from supplements, is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
In a six-year study examining community residents aged 65 and older, the participants completed food frequency questionnaires and underwent cognitive tests and clinical evaluation for Alzheimer’s disease. Higher intakes of vitamin E and alpha tocopherol equivalents were found to decrease the incidence of Alzheimer’s. With each 5 mg-per-day increase in dietary tocopherols, subjects had a 26-44% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Alpha tocopherol and gamma tocopherol were independently associated with Alzheimer’s risk. Increased intake of vitamin E also provided protection against cognitive decline.
The study results underscore the importance of daily supplementation with vitamin E and indicate that mixed vitamin E tocopherols may offer greater protection against common diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s than alpha tocopherol alone.
Maximum Vitality contains all the tocopherol and tocotrienol forms of Vitamin E.
Morris MC, Evans DA, Tangney CC, et al. Relation of tocopherol forms to incident Alzheimer disease and to cognitive change. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):508-14.