The study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine , evaluated the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and measures of plasma levels of vitamin E forms - including all eight natural vitamin E congeners (four tocopherols and four tocotrienols) - in differentiating individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from cognitively intact control (CTL) subjects.
Consistent with previous research findings, the new study – led by Francesca Mangialasche from the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden – reports that both AD and MCI patients had lower blood plasma levels of different vitamin E isomers, compared to CTL subjects.
“Plasma levels of tocopherols and tocotrienols together with automated MRI measures can help to differentiate AD and MCI patients from CTL subjects, and to prospectively predict MCI conversion into AD,” said Mangialasche and her colleagues.
“Our results suggest the potential role of nutritional biomarkers detected in plasma-tocopherols and tocotrienols-as indirect indicators of AD pathology, and the utility of a multimodality approach,” they concluded.
The study’s findings were welcomed by WH Leong, vice president of Carotech Inc, who commented that the study also shows that alpha and gamma-tocotrienol, as well as gamma-tocopherol are the most important vitamin E forms in differentiating AD and MCI cases from controls.
“It is encouraging to find consistent and positive research results supporting the importance of full spectrum vitamin E (d-mixed tocotrienols + d-mixed tocopherols or E-Complete) in cognitive improvement,” said Leong.
“This European study adds further to the evidence that increased levels of full spectrum vitamin E in the plasma is beneficial for improvement of cognitive functions especially in elderly,” he added.