High dosages of vitamin E slows Alzheimer’s disease

2 Jan

The Journal of the American Medical Association, this week, published a paper looking at the effects of administering very high dosages of vitamin E to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The results:

“Among patients with mild to moderate AD, 2000 IU/d of alpha tocopherol compared with placebo resulted in slower functional decline”

A few points:

1. This was a rigorous double blind study.

2. This study did not show that Vitamin E prevents or cures Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin E was shown to slow the progression of the disease. However, just slowing the rate of decline can mean a important improvement it the quality of life of patients with this disease and their caregivers.

4. The dosage was very high: 2000 International Units of  alpha tocopherol

5. Other studies have suggested that high dosages of vitamin E might actually decrease life span.

Here is a good overview in The New York Times. 

And here Dr. Greger reviews some of the evidence on vitamin supplementation.

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