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Vitamin E May Delay Decline in Mild-To-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease
Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 12:28 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Difficulty with activities of daily living often affect Alzheimer's patients, which is estimated to affect as many as 5.1 million Americans. These issues are among the most taxing burdens of the disease for caregivers, which total about 5.4 million family members and friends. New research from the faculty of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai working with Veterans Administration Medical Centers suggests that alpha tocepherol, fat-soluble Vitamin E and antioxidant, may slow functional decline (problems with daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals, planning, and traveling) in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease and decrease caregiver burden. There was no added benefit for memory and cognitive testing with the vitamin. 

The study is published online first in the Jan. 1 Journal of the American Medical Association. 

"Since the cholinesterase inhibitors [galantamine, donepezil, rivastigmine], we have had very little to offer patients with mild-to-moderate dementia," said Mary Sano, PhD, trial co-investigator, and professor in the department of psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and director of research at the James J. Peters Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Bronx, New York. "This trial showed that vitamin E delays progression of functional decline by 19% per year, which translates into 6.2 months benefit over placebo." 


The finding is valuable because vitamin E is easy to purchase at local drugstores and it is also inexpensive. The clinical trial investigators believe it can be recommended as a treatment strategy, based on the double-blind randomized controlled trial. 


The Veteran's Administration Cooperative Randomized Trial of Vitamin E and memantine in Alzheimer's Disease (TEAM-AD examined the effects of vitamin E 2,000 IU/d, 20 mg/d of memantine, the combination, or placebo on Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL) Inventory Score. Cognitive, neuropsychiatric, functional, and caregiver measures were secondary outcomes. A group of 613 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease were in the study, which was launched in August 2007 and finished in September 2012 at 14 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. 


Dr. Sano previously led a study on vitamin E in patients with moderately severe Alzheimer's disease. She found that the vitamin slowed disease progression in this group of patients as well. 

Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:47 AM
Joined: 9/4/2012
Posts: 469

I am going to give vitamins E a try with mom.  She will not take fish oil or coconut oil due to the size of the pills.  Vitamin E pills are very small and perhaps she will not balk.   We all took E when it was recommended for heart disease prevention but stopped due to the warnings.  2000 mg is not a high dose and should be OK.

BTW Myriam, how is your home trial with coconut oil pills going?   

Lane Simonian
Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 8:53 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5159

Supplementation with the gamma tocopherol form of Vitamin E may be better than with the alpha tocopherol form of Vitamin E because gamma tocopherol is a better peroxynitrite scavenger and I am all but certain that peroxynitrites are the cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 9:26 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

Lane - thank you for the distinction. have been eating nuts every day off the big pharma stuff and using essential oils and doing much better.

your insights have been helping me a lot and giving me back some self confidence in dealing with doctors who know what they know, but do not have Alzheimer's and do not know what it feels like to be given these body chemistry changing meds.

really appreciate it!

Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 1:35 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Vita99 wrote:
BTW Myriam, how is your home trial with coconut oil pills going?   

I've noticed no difference or change with coconut oil pills, but this past month I experienced a small permanent decline.  I'm thinking about completing the pills I currently have and not reordering. However, if I experience a distinct decline afterwards, I'll try another batch to see if there is improvement. Unfortunately, the state of research at this time sets some of us up to be our own guinea pigs.
Lane Simonian
Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 6:53 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5159

alz+ what you said is quite true--some medicines act like sledge hammers, whereas diet and alternative treatments often more carefully target the cause of a disease.  Here are a couple of more studies supporting the adherence to a Mediterranean diet in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. 


Coconut oil continues to perplex me.  The ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, and ketones in coconut oil may help in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease but this may be offset by the high levels of saturated fats in some people. 

Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2014 8:52 PM
Joined: 5/1/2013
Posts: 168

Thanks for posting, Myriam. I have been reading about this as well. 

The Vitamin-E type and dosage was "a synthetic version of one - alpha-tocopherol - at a pharmaceutical grade and strength, 2,000 international units a day" per the article here.  I would like to find out what 2,000 "international units" per day is, but would like to put my mom on this if she's open to it!

Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2014 11:55 AM
Joined: 11/23/2013
Posts: 309

Myriam, I noticed your comment re coconut oil. There is a very good book "What if there was a cure" that talks exclusively about coconut oil and how to administer it. If I remember correctly, the dosage it's at least a tablespoon of oil twice a day. That would be a lot of coconut capsules. I bought organic coconut oil at the local store.(can use it for cooking too ) I melted it in the micro and put it in Orange juice. Start slow as it can cause diarrhea. Good luck.
Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2014 8:20 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Thanks for the tip. I'll use up the pills I'm taking and switch to the liquid and see how it goes.
Paul Hornback
Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014 10:53 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584

I buy the extra virgin coconut oil and use it in my oatmeal each morning. I figure it can't hurt and it tastes pretty good mixed in with nuts and berries in the oatmeal. I thought about trying the pills but this way easier for me.


God bless, Paul