Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vitamin E: From Atherosclerosis to Alzheimer's.

Vitamin E supplementation has been utilized for a wide variety of illnesses

throughout the previous decades. In recent years, the spotlight has turned to the use of tocopherols in atherosclerosis as it relates to coronary and peripheral vascular disease. There is good evidence to suggest that vitamin E plays a beneficial role as adjunctive therapy in patients with diseased blood vessels and abnormal cholesterol levels. Furthermore, vitamin E may be protective against blood vessel injury in patients undergoing bypass surgery. Aside from its contribution to heart and vascular disease, oxidative stress has also been linked to Alzheimer's disease.

As a result, there have been several recent investigations into the use of vitamin E and other antioxidants in the management of Alzheimer’s dementia. Although the data are not definitive, there is some compelling evidence to suggest that vitamin E may be a beneficial addition to the current armamentarium in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. Other areas where tocopherol therapy may also be beneficial are in the management of skin disorders such as eczema and acne, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and fertility.

There is controversy in the utilization of vitamin E for certain conditions such as benign fibrocystic breast disease and intermittent claudication; however, review of the recent literature does not support the use of tocopherol therapy for these conditions.

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