Researchers have found a connection between poor memory and low blood levels of vitamin E in an elderly population. People who ate inadequately or skipped meals also had greater memory loss than those who ate regularly. Antioxidants help provide protection against free radical damage. Free radicals, produced during normal metabolic processes, are thought to cause oxidative stress. The study findings link vitamin E from diet, rather than from supplements, to memory. The researchers report that they found no connection between other antioxidants and memory loss. Most previous studies have not found a link between vitamin deficiencies and memory. However, the researchers noted, many of these studies had a limited range of subjects who were mostly Caucasian, well-educated and higher income levels -- all factors linked to better memory retention.
American Journal of Epidemiology 1999;150:37-44.
COMMENT: Yet another reason to take vitamin E. I believe it is one of the few vitamins from which most everyone benefits. However, as this study points out, it is important to have natural vitamin E, not synthetic. It is highly likely that the synthetic will not provide the same benefits. I recommend the company Unique which has a mixture of all the tocopherols. Previous research has demonstrated that this is important to balance them out. Unique also uses the highest grade of vitamin E commercially available. You can certainly find less expensive versions, especially mail order, but those are generally far inferior grades of vitamin E if they are natural, and frequently they are synthetic. Some health food stores carry the Unique brand, but they generally are only available through physician’s offices.