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Study: Mixed Vitamin E Forms Slow Cognition Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease

Palm fruits are used to produce palm oil.

Palm fruits are used to produce palm oil.

Health Impact News Editor:

This research reported by Case Adams shows how there are multiple forms of vitamin E in nature, and that mixed forms of vitamin E as found in food have tremendous health benefits. Most vitamin E supplements in pill form are simply encapsulated soybean oil, containing mainly just one form of the tocopherol. Soybeans are also over 90% GMO.

In addition to the various forms of tocopherols that are classified as vitamin E, there are also tocotrienols which are generally not found in supplements, but in food. The following chart shows how red palm oil (not the processed version) is nature’s richest source of tocotrienols and vitamin E.


Much like coconut oil, palm oil has been vilified in the past because of its high saturated fat content, although recent meta-studies have been published disproving that saturated fats have any impact on heart disease at all (See: Big Pharma Study: USDA Dietary Guidelines on Fats are Wrong).

Unfortunately, palm oil also gets vilified for ecological reasons where it has been reported to destroy natural habitat on the island of Sumatra in Malaysia and Indonesia. However, palm oil is an introduced crop in Southeast Asia where large scale plantations exist, but in areas where it is native, most of the production is by small-scale sustainable operations, particularly in Africa. Hence, if you are purchasing virgin red palm oil from one of those areas, not only are you purchasing a healthy and sustainable product, but you are also helping to provide jobs for people in some of the poorest areas of the world in Africa.

As Case Adams reports below, these mixed forms of vitamin E with their super high levels of antioxidants have been shown to slow cognition decline and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Mixed Vitamin E Forms Slow Cognition Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease

by Case Adams
Real Natural

Researchers from the Veteran’s Administration and Yale University School of Publish Health have determined that vitamin E can slow cognitive decline among mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients.

And other recent research shows that multiple forms of vitamin E also reduce cognitive impairment.

The VA researchers followed 561 Alzheimer’s disease patients between 2007 and 2012 at multiple VA hospitals. The researchers divided the patients into two groups. They gave the patients either 2000 IUs of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E per day; 20 milligrams per day of memantine; the combination of vitamin E and memantine; or a placebo.

The researchers periodically tested the patients for cognition using the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study/Activities of Daily Living (ADCS-ADL) Inventory – which rates the patient with scores that range from zero to 78. The researchers also gave each patient cognitive tests, neuropsychiatric testing, functional living tests, and rated them for caregiver status.

The study found that the ADCS-ADL scores declined among all the patients as a whole, but those given the vitamin E alone declined an average of 3.15 points less than the average decline among the placebo group.

By comparison, the memantine group declined 1.98 points less than the placebo group. Interestingly, those given the vitamin E with memantine did not score significantly different than the memantine alone group.

The researchers also found that the vitamin E-alone group scored higher in caregiver time – meaning the vitamin E group required significantly less caregiver time than the other groups.

The decline in ADCS-ADL scores were used to calculate that those patients given the vitamin E experienced a 19% reduced decline each year – which translated to a reduction of 6.2 months throughout the study period. This means the vitamin E patients had 6.2 months of less cognitive decline compared to the placebo group.

Tocotrienols are also important to preventing cognitive decline

It must be understood that the alpha-tocopherol version of vitamin E is only one dimension of the vitamin. Nature provides eight different molecules categorized as vitamin E. Four are tocopherols – alpha-tocopherol, beta-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, and delta-tocopherol. Of these, alpha-tocopherol is most used and stored by the body.

But there are also four tocotrienol forms of vitamin E – alpha-tocotrienol, beta-tocotrienol, gamma-tocotrienol, and delta-tocotrienol.

Research from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute has shown that Alzheimer’s disease and cognition decline is linked to both tocotrienols and tocopherols.

The researchers studied 81 Alzheimer’s patients, 86 patients with mild cognitive impairment and 86 matched volunteers who where cognitively healthy.

The researchers found that plasma levels of both tocotrienols and tocopherols corresponded with levels of cognitive decline, with Alzheimer’s disease having the least levels. The plasma levels of gamma-tocotrienols alpha-tocotrienols along with gamma-tocopherols corresponded with MRI scans in indicating levels of cognitive decline.

Another study from the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University followed 140 elderly people without cognitive issues at the beginning of eight years. They measured their blood-levels of vitamin E together with the advancement of cognitive decline.

They tested for all eight vitamin E molecules as mentioned above.

The researchers found that cognitive decline was less among those people who had higher blood levels of gamma-tocopherol, beta-tocotrienol and those with higher levels of total tocotrienols.

In their conclusion they summarized their findings:

“Elevated levels of tocopherol and tocotrienol forms are associated with reduced risk of cognitive impairment in older adults.”


Multiple studies have also found that tocotrinols are significantly beneficial to cardiovascular health.

Supplements are available, but a diet that includes a diversity of whole grain foods, whole rice, coconut and palm foods will render both tocotrienols and tocopherols.

Other diet choices are linked with reduced cognitive decline. Learn about those diet choices.


Dysken MW, Sano M, Asthana S, Vertrees JE, Pallaki M, Llorente M, Love S, Schellenberg GD, McCarten JR, Malphurs J, Prieto S, Chen P, Loreck DJ, Trapp G, Bakshi RS, Mintzer JE, Heidebrink JL, Vidal-Cardona A, Arroyo LM, Cruz AR, Zachariah S, Kowall NW, Chopra MP, Craft S, Thielke S, Turvey CL, Woodman C, Monnell KA, Gordon K, Tomaska J, Segal Y, Peduzzi PN, Guarino PD. Effect of vitamin E and memantine on functional decline in Alzheimer disease: the TEAM-AD VA cooperative randomized trial. JAMA. 2014 Jan 1;311(1):33-44. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.282834.

Mangialasche F, Westman E, Kivipelto M, Muehlboeck JS, Cecchetti R, Baglioni M, Tarducci R, Gobbi G, Floridi P, Soininen H, Kłoszewska I, Tsolaki M, Vellas B, Spenger C, Lovestone S, Wahlund LO, Simmons A, Mecocci P; AddNeuroMed consortium. Classification and prediction of clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease based on MRI and plasma measures of α-/γ-tocotrienols and γ-tocopherol. J Intern Med. 2013 Jun;273(6):602-21. doi: 10.1111/joim.12037.

Mangialasche F, Solomon A, Kåreholt I, Hooshmand B, Cecchetti R, Fratiglioni L, Soininen H, Laatikainen T, Mecocci P, Kivipelto M. Serum levels of vitamin E forms and risk of cognitive impairment in a Finnish cohort of older adults. Exp Gerontol. 2013 Dec;48(12):1428-35. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.09.006.

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