Feb. 11, 2005; Intake of a mixture of vitamin E tocopherols from food sources rather than from supplements is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), according to the results of a large prospective study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005; 81:508-514. Randomized trials therefore appear to be warranted.

“High intake of vitamin E from food (tocopherol), but not from supplements (which usually contain á-tocopherol), is inversely associated with Alzheimer disease,” write Martha Clare Morris, ScD, PhD, from the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging in Atlanta, Georgia, and colleagues. “Because vitamin E is composed of four different tocopherol forms (á-, ã, ä, and â-tocopherols) and four corresponding tocotrienols, and because vitamin E supplements usually consist of á-tocopherol only, one possible explanation for the seeming inconsistency is that the effect is not due to á-tocopherol alone but to another tocopherol form or to a combination of tocopherol forms.”


“The results suggest that various tocopherol forms rather than á-tocopherol alone may be important in the vitamin E protective association with Alzheimer disease,” the authors write. “This may explain the absence of association reported in some studies between Alzheimer disease and use of vitamin E supplements, which have traditionally contained only á-tocopherol. Additional testing through randomized controlled clinical trials appears warranted to more firmly establish the effects of various tocopherol forms on the prevention of age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease.”


Post Test

1.Of the eight components of vitamin E, which is considered the most potent in antioxidant activity according to Morris and colleagues? a.á-Tocopherol b.â-Tocopherol c.ã-Tocopherol d.ä-Tocopherol
2.In advising a patient on intake of vitamin E in their diet to protect against cognitive decline and AD, which of the following type of oils is most likely to yield a high content of á-tocopherol? a.Corn oil b.Sunflower oil c.Lard d.Soybean oil

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