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Low vitamin E levels associated with physical decline among older adults.

A new study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that low levels of vitamin E are associated with a decline in physical function among older individuals. (1)

Investigators from Cornell University randomly selected 698 community-dwelling men and women aged 65 years and older from Tuscany, Italy, to participate in this study. After measuring subjects' micronutrient intakes at baseline, investigators assessed the subjects' physical function using standardized tests of physical performance during a three-year follow-up period.

After adjusting for potential confounding factors, statistical analysis revealed that those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin E were 60% more likely to suffer physical decline over the three-year follow-up period.

The study's authors concluded, "These results provide empirical evidence that a low serum concentration of vitamin E is associated with subsequent decline in physical function among community-living older adults." Other researchers have previously speculated that higher levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, may prevent some of the damage caused by free radicals, which have been implicated in aging and various degenerative diseases.2,3


(1.) Bartali B, Frongillo EA, Guralnik JM, et al. Serum micronutrient concentrations and decline in physical function among older persons. JAMA. 2008 Jan 23;299(3):308-15.

(2.) Janson M. Orthomolecular medicine: the therapeutic use of dietary supplements for anti-aging. Clin Interv Aging. 2006;1(3):261-5.

(3.) Rahman K. Studies on free radicals, antioxidants, and co-factors. Clin Interv Aging. 2007;2(2):219-36.

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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Author:Kiefer, Dale
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2008
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