Vitamin E

DSM: Vitamin-E can slow functional decline in Alzheimer’s patients

DSM’s Quali-E Vitamin E has been proven to delay functional decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) by 19%, according to studies by the company. In addition, a daily high dose (2000 IU per day) supplementation of Vitamin E over a long period of time (2.3 years) did not raise safety concerns, the company said. Supplementation with high levels of Vitamin E (2000 IU/d of DL-alpha tocopheryl acetate) among patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease resulted in slower functional decline when compared with placebo according to a new study, entitled “Effects of Vitamin E and Memantine on Functional Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease” released in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

This study, independently designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program, was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised clinical trial involving 613 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. Participants received either 2000 IU/d of Vitamin E, 20 mg/d of memantine (a drug under investigation for its role in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s), the combination of both, or placebo.

DSM Nutritional Products (the world’s largest manufacturer of Vitamin E for use in human nutrition, animal markets, dietary supplements, food & beverage and infant nutrition), provided the Vitamin E (Quali-E) for this study.

Within the Vitamin E-only group, Vitamin E supplementation delayed the rate of clinical progression of Alzheimer’s Disease by 19% or 6.2 months over the follow-up period and reduced the amount of caregiver time by nearly two hours per day.

In addition, the study, one of the largest and longest clinical trials in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, did not observe any significant safety concerns (including mortality) as had been suggested by a 2005 meta-analysis of supplementation trials with 400 IU or higher of Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant nutrient that helps protect cell membranes by neutralising free radicals, and also helps to maintain the immune system, support the health of red blood cells, and maintain a healthy circulatory system, according to DSM.

It is also found in all body tissues and is important for their health and proper functioning. Currently, more than 90% of Americans and 75% of British people do not consume enough vitamin E from food, the company says.

The current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E for healthy adults is 15 mg/day.

DSM notes that the intake of Vitamin E at the recommended levels can also help with the prevention of heart disease, as it helps prevent arteries from clogging. It is also useful in eye health because of its antioxidant action, which may help protect against clouding of the lens of the eye (cataracts) and a progressive deterioration in the retina.

Vitamin E is also useful in enhancing specific aspects of the immune response that appears to decline as people age.

Meanwhile, clinical studies have also shown that people with cancer often have lower levels of vitamin E in the blood, according to the company.