The Effectiveness of Vitamin E Treatment in Alzheimer's Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Feb 18;20(4):879. doi: 10.3390/ijms20040879.


Vitamin E was proposed as treatment for Alzheimer's disease many years ago. However, the effectiveness of the drug is not clear. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and neuroprotector and it has anti-inflammatory and hypocholesterolemic properties, driving to its importance for brain health. Moreover, the levels of vitamin E in Alzheimer's disease patients are lower than in non-demented controls. Thus, vitamin E could be a good candidate to have beneficial effects against Alzheimer's. However, evidence is consistent with a limited effectiveness of vitamin E in slowing progression of dementia; the information is mixed and inconclusive. The question is why does vitamin E fail to treat Alzheimer's disease? In this paper we review the studies with and without positive results in Alzheimer's disease and we discuss the reasons why vitamin E as treatment sometimes has positive results on cognition but at others, it does not.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; antioxidants; brain health; non-respondents; respondents to vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamin E