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Vitamin E For Alzheimer's Disease:
A Natural Treatment and Preventative

Vitamin E used together with Vitamin C is an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease (AD), and it's a good preventative measure as well. Not only that, Vitamin E helps with a whole range of other health problems, including heart disease and some cancers.

Vitamin E as an Alzheimer's Treatment

A study has shown that as a treatment for moderately severe Alzheimer's disease, Vitamin E may slow symptoms by seven months.

That's seven months more where the Alzheimer's sufferer can dress themselves, bath themselves and do other things for themselves, and seven more months before a nursing home is necessary. This study didn't show any improvement in memory, attention, or language though.

Another study compared 43 elderly people, with 20 of them suffering from Alzheimer's and 23 healthy. The Alzheimer's sufferers had significantly less Vitamin E in their blood. Other studies have found that Alzheimer's sufferers have less vitamin E and folate in the fluid that surrounds the brain.

Vitamin E as an Alzheimer's Preventative

The Arasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam interviewed 5395 people over 55, taking detailed information on food intake and use of antioxidant supplements amongst other things. The researchers then calculated vitamin intake, and monitored these people over the next six years. 146 developed Alzheimer's disease, and it was found that they were taking the least amount of Vitamin E. The ones taking the most Vitamin E were 43% less likely to get AD.

Another similar study in Rush Institute in Chicago tracked 815 people over 65. Those who took the most Vitamin E were 70% less likely to get AD compared to those who took the least.

How Does It Work?

It seems that the Vitamin E does its good work because it is an antioxidant. (So is Vitamin C). Antioxidants fight free radicals which are a normal by-product of chemical reactions in the cells. Free radicals are cell-damaging molecules, causing oxidative stress in the body and a speeding-up of the aging process, which includes declining brain power.

Antioxidants also help to fight inflammation, which is a characteristic of AD.

How Much Vitamin E for Alzheimer's?

Most doctors generally recommend between 400 and 1000 IU of Vitamin E per day for healthy individuals and some recommend up to 2000 IU/day for the treatment of AD.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that taking between 500 and 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 400 to 1,500 IU of vitamin E per day reduced the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 64 to 78 percent. Their study also found that Vitamin E or C by themselves didn't help.

The Institute of Medicine sets a daily upper limit of vitamin E at 1,500 IU. That is maximum intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects in almost all healthy individuals in the general population. The RDA is a low 22 IU while most studies showing Vitamin E can help health problems call for 400 IU/day or more.

Side Effects and Precautions

Vitamin E sounds pretty harmless; after all it is only a vitamin. There can be problems in rare cases though. It can cause gastrointestinal problems, bleeding problems particularly with people taking blood thinning agents, and it can react negatively with some medications.

Follow your doctor's advice. Discuss Vitamin E supplements with your doctor and take them under your doctor's supervision.

Vitamin E's Other Good Deeds

Vitamin E sounds almost too good to be true. It's reported to help prevent or delay coronary heart disease, decrease the incidence of prostrate, breast and colon cancers, and decrease the incidence of lung cancer in smokers. It seems to help prevent cataracts and may help protect against Parkinson's. It may help in premenstrual syndrome, infertility, arthritis, childhood epilepsy, and some forms of chronic hepatitis, among other health problems. It also helps to reduce scarring, and reduces the need for oxygen.

Where Do You Get It?

The best source of Vitamin E is fresh wheat germ; other sources are nuts, cold-pressed oils, stone ground whole-grain breads and cereals, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and avocados.

You can also get it in capsule form as a supplement.

Some studies have shown natural forms of Vitamin E to be better than capsules, other studies have shown no difference. It would be hard to get 400 IU/day without supplementing though.

More ways to fight Alzheimer's Disease

Vitamin E is just one of a range of natural methods of fighting this devastating disease that have been proven to help. Other methods are a good diet, other vitamins and supplements, physical exercise, and mental exercise. Of course there are medications that help too. Together they can give years more Alzheimers-free quality time.

For the best information on fighting and preventing Alzheimer's disease look at Frank Mangano's Alzheimer's e-book “The Mind Killer Defense".

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