Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vitamin E found to ‘Ward Off Decline”

Recent research has found that a daily supplement of vitamin E can help to reduce physical decline in elderly people. The study revealed that the physical ability of people aged over 65 was worst in those who had lower levels of vitamin E.

It has been suggested that the secret behind vitamin E’s ability to protect against physical decline lies in the fact that it is a potent antioxidant that works to protect the body’s tissue from damage caused by rampaging free radicals.

In the latest Italian study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers measured levels of vitamins in the blood of 698 people. Performance of the volunteers was monitored over a three-year period and was based upon three physical tests – a short walk, balance and standing up from a seated position. Researchers found that there became a clear association between vitamin E and performance, reporting that “the odds of declining in physical function was 1.62 times greater in persons with low levels of vitamin E, when compared with individuals with higher levels” as said by the leading researcher Dr Benedetta Bartali.

Dr Bartali confirmed that the results of the study suggested that “an appropriate dietary intake of vitamin E may help to reduce the decline in physical function among older persons.” Researchers also highlighted that as well as its antioxidant effect, vitamin E is involved in the production of red blood cells.

This research also highlighted that many older people do not have an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals and therefore, in order for them to get essential nutrients, a daily supplement is largely the most effective means. A healthy and nutritious diet is essential for wellbeing and a healthy life expectancy, particularly in older people.

Source: BBC News

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