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Vitamin E paradox in Alzheimer’s disease: it does not prevent loss of cognition and may even be detrimental


Lloret, Ana, Badía, Mari-Carmen, Mora, Nancy J., Pallardó, Federico V., Alonso, Maria-Dolores, Viña, Jose


Journal Of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD, Volume: 17, No.: 1, Pages.: 143-149

Year of Publication



There is controversy as to whether vitamin E is beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study, we tested if vitamin E prevents oxidative stress and loss of cognition in AD. Fifty-seven AD patients were recruited and divided in two groups: placebo or treated with 800 IU of vitamin E per day for six months. Of these 57 patients, only 33 finished the study. We measured blood oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and used the following cognitive tests: Mini-Mental State Examination, Blessed-Dementia Scale, and Clock Drawing Test. Of those patients treated with vitamin E, we found two groups. In the first group, “respondents” to vitamin E, GSSG levels were lower after the treatment and scores on the cognitive tests were maintained. The second group, “non-respondents”, consisted of patients in which vitamin E was not effective in preventing oxidative stress. In these patients, cognition decreased sharply, to levels even lower than those of patients taking placebo. Based on our findings, it appears that vitamin E lowers oxidative stress in some AD patients and maintains cognitive status, however, in those in which vitamin E does not prevent oxidative stress, it is detrimental in terms of cognition. Therefore, supplementation of AD patients with vitamin E cannot be recommended without determination of its antioxidant effect in each patient.;


alzheimer disease, analysis of variance, arachidonic acid, blood, cognition disorders, complications, double-blind method, drug effects, drug therapy, e, etiology, glutathione disulfide, humans, malondialdehyde, mental status schedule, neuropsychological tests, oxidative stress, prospective studies, statistics nonparametric, therapeutic use, vitamin

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Herbal remedies, vitamins, dietary supplements