(NaturalNews) A high dietary intake of vitamin E may reduce the risk of developing dementia in older adults, according to a study conducted by researchers from Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and published in the journal Archives of Neurology.
Researchers recruited 5,395 Dutch adults over the age of 54 who did not have any form of dementia and questioned them about their typical diet. They then followed the participants for 10 years.
Based on the food intake data, the researchers calculated each participant's average intake of vitamin C and vitamin E. They found that even after adjusting for potential confounding factors such as age, alcohol and tobacco consumption, education and weight, participants with the highest vitamin E intake were 25 percent less likely to develop dementia than participants with the lowest.
The highest vitamin E intake in the study was approximately 18.5 milligrams per day. The U.S. government recommends a minimum intake of 15 milligrams per day.
Researchers believe that vitamin E, an antioxidant, may help reduce the brain inflammation that is associated with dementia. However, prior studies have failed to find any protective benefit from vitamin C, another antioxidant, suggesting that some other mechanism may be at work.
Prior research has found that vitamin E may also help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease once it develops.
"Patients on [an] experimental vitamin E regimen were able to maintain daily functions, such as dressing themselves and handling money, for longer than Alzheimer's sufferers who were not taking the supplements," write the authors of Uncommon Cures For Everyday Ailments, published by Bottom Line Books.
Good dietary sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, some green vegetables (including broccoli and spinach), nuts (including almonds and hazelnuts) and vegetable oils (including safflower and sunflower oil).