Stockholm, Sweden—Approximately 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. A recent study conducted by the Aging Research Center at the Karolinska Institute links low plasma levels of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols (full spectrum vitamin E) to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment in older individuals.

Utilizing the study population from the AddNeuroMed Project, the researchers examined 168 subjects with Alzheimer’s, 166 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 187 subjects deemed cognitively normal. The researchers found that the Alzheimer’s subjects had reduced plasma levels of each form of vitamin E, including total tocopherols and total tocotrienols, when compared to the cognitively normal subjects. Both the Alzheimer’s and MCI subjects also had higher levels of damage markers compared to the cognitively normal subjects. These findings suggest a correlation between oxidative stress and a higher risk for early onset of Alzheimer’s disease and between vitamin E and a reduction of neurodegeneration.

The same researchers, as published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010, found that high plasma levels of full-spectrum vitamin E are related to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but they concluded that tocotrienols were more effective than tocopherols at reducing this risk.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2012