Consuming a diet rich in vitamin E may help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, reports a review article recently published in the Lancet Neurology journal.*
Investigators at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Quebec, Canada, conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies published between 1966 and 2005. Using data from eight studies, they concluded that both moderate and high levels of dietary vitamin E intake helped reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. By contrast, the studies did not suggest that vitamin C or beta-carotene confers protection against Parkinson’s.
Gamma tocopherol is the predominant form of vitamin E in food sources, while alpha tocopherol is the most prevalent form in nutritional supplements. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and spinach and other leafy green vegetables.
Parkinson’s is a chronic, irreversible neurodegenerative disease affecting about 1% of all adults over the age of 65 worldwide. Its symptoms include tremors, stiffness, slow movement, and poor coordination and balance.
This study suggests that dietary vitamin E provides a neuroprotective effect against the development of Parkinson’s disease. Randomized controlled trials are indicated to confirm these results.
—Elizabeth Wagner, ND