Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Adequate Levels of Vitamin E Delays Disability in Elders

A recent study confirms that adequate levels of serum Vitamin E can delay the onset of disability, especially if you're over age 65.

The research was initiated in an effort to clarify whether or not there is a link between the rate of age related physical decline and poor nutrition - an answer that past studies have failed to reveal.

The results, reported in the January 23 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association is considered conclusive: low levels of Vitamin E significantly contribute to physical decline and disability among elders.

According to Benedetta Bartali, RD, PhD, from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and colleagues, "Maintaining independence of older persons is a public health priority, and identifying the factors that contribute to decline in physical function is needed to prevent or postpone the disablement process".

The randomized study was performed in Tuscany, Italy from November 1, 1998 through May 28, 2000, and the participants were followed until 2003. Men and women were both included in the study.

The group performed specific activities to determine their physical capability. The following were measured: 4-meter walking speed, repeated chair rises, and a test of standing balance using increasingly more challenging positions.

Following a thorough analysis, only low serum levels of Vitamin E were found to correlate with physical disability.

According to the authors of the study, "Clinical trials may be warranted to determine whether optimal concentration of vitamin E reduces functional decline and the onset of disability in older persons with a low concentration of vitamin E."

Foods that are rich in Vitamin E include green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, nuts, seed, sardines, oats, whole grains and wheat germ.

JAMA. 2008;299:308-315