Alzheimer’s Disease Progression Delayed by Vitamin E?

Alzheimer’s Disease Progression Linked to Vitamin E

Recent studies have possibly linked the lack of disease progression in Alzheimer’s patients to vitamin E. 600 patients took part in the study, with researchers aiming to understand the potential link. There is currently no conclusive evidence that the vitamin will definitely work, but the primary research is promising. This could help those in the early stages of the disease and, in turn, their caregivers.

This is not a definitively proven cure, though, according to the lead doctor on the study, Maurice Dysken. The research showed that vitamin E helped Alzheimer’s patients become more independent. Those who were part of the vitamin E group of the trials required, on average, two hours less time with caregivers than other members.

However, the treatment did not preserve Alzheimer’s disease patients’ thinking abilities, indefinitely. Those who took other medication to help with the disease did not benefit. There is still a long way to go before a permanent cure for one of the most debilitating brain diseases is discovered.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, is a physical condition that affects the brain. Patients may have symptoms of memory loss, changes in mood, and communication and reasoning problems. It is devastating for the patients, as well as their friends and family members.

Patients can struggle with everyday activities. It could be something as small as forgetting where the house keys are or becoming muddled by simple changes. It can even be something more serious, like forgetting about a pan of boiling water or leaving the oven turned on. It leads to constant care for many Alzheimer’s patients. Hearing that patients who take vitamin E could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, to the point of needing two hours less care, would be welcomed by many.

This is not the first health condition that vitamin E has been linked to helping. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which helps prevent the build-up of free radicals in the body. Free radicals have been linked to cancer and heart disease. The most common problem of free radicals is how they speed up the aging process of the cells, so they die sooner and the body becomes weaker.

Vitamin E is also linked to good skin. Many topical treatments and moisturizing creams now opt for this vitamin to help create a more youthful look; again, this is linked to the protection of cells, specifically those in the skin. While more research is required, there are other ways that vitamin E is known to help the body, including fighting against high blood pressure and heart disease.

The vitamin is one of the easiest to get through natural means. It is found in many different foods, including leafy greens, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Manufacturers often tend to add it to their ingredients too, and it is also available in supplement form. Like other vitamins, there is such a thing as too much, so it is important to add it to the diet in moderation.

More research is required to look into the benefit of vitamin E and how it slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. There is currently no evidence that it stops people getting the disease, just that it helps patients in the early stages gain more independence.

By Alexandria Ingham

Sources:

NBC News

Alzheimer’s Society

National Institutes of Health

Healthline

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