The sagging reputation of vitamin E as a disease fighter could be on the upswing. The antioxidant, which has shown inconsistent results in studies, can slow functional decline in elderly people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests. Patients randomly assigned to get the vitamin in high daily doses didn’t lose their ability to carry out basic daily activities as rapidly as those getting a placebo, researchers report in the Jan. 1 JAMA.
“This shows a modest but potentially important benefit,” says Denis Evans, an internist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Surely one would like a revolutionary gain against this grim and really common disease. But chewing away at it by bits and pieces — and that’s what’s happening here — is very good news.”
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