A recent study suggests that people with Alzheimer’s disease who take vitamin E appear to live longer than those who don’t take the supplement.

A recent study from Baylor College of Medicine’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center (published in The New England Journal of Medicine) suggests that people with Alzheimer’s disease who take vitamin E appear to live longer than those who don’t take the supplement1.

Researchers followed 847 patients with Alzheimer’s disease for an average of five years. Two-thirds of the group took an Alzheimer’s drug and 1,000 international units of vitamin E twice a day. Less than 10% took vitamin E alone and about 15% did not take vitamin E. The study found that those who took vitamin E, with or without the Alzheimer’s drug, were 26% less likely to die than those who didn’t take vitamin E.

The study’s lead author Valory Pavlik, PhD said, “Vitamin E has previously been shown to delay the progression of moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease. Now, we’ve been able to show that vitamin E appears to increase the survival time of Alzheimer’s patients as well.”

This research was presented at the American Academy of Neurology 60th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 12-19, 2008.

Eric J. Hall, president and founding CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in New York City, described the finding as “interesting” and worthy of continued investigation2.

References

1. American Academy of Neurology. “Vitamin E May Help Alzheimer’s Patients Live Longer, Study Suggests.” 17 April 2008.

2. HealthDay. “High Doses of Vitamin E Lengthen Lives of Alzheimer’s Patients.” 16 April 2008.