Increased intakes of vitamin E might help stave off dementia and Alzheimer's disease, suggests a study from the Netherlands.
In the study, data on the diets of almost 5,400 people aged 55 years and older who did not have dementia were collected (1). Over an average of 9.6 years of follow-up, 465 of these individuals developed dementia, and 365 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found that those who consumed the most vitamin E (one third of the participants) were 25 percent less likely to develop dementia, compared with the third that consumed the least. Dietary intake levels of vitamin C and beta carotene were not associated with the reduction of dementia risk.
The scientists speculated that vitamin E as a powerful antioxidant may help to inhibit the development of dementia, in particular, the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain – a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. However, further studies are needed to evaluate the possible benefits of dietary intake of antioxidants in dementia risk reduction, the researchers concluded.