Vitamin E & Brain Health
One study (below) found that eating foods with a lot of Vitamin E correlates with a lower rate of cognitive decline. Vitamin E foods are literally good for your brain. However, taking vitamin E supplements may not help. Clinical trials looking at Vitamin E have not demonstrated significant benefits for Vitamin E yet.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD

Key Facts

Vitamin E & Brain Health
1. Vitamin E rich foods is good for your brain
One study (below) found that eating foods with a lot of Vitamin E correlates with a lower rate of cognitive decline. Vitamin E foods are literally good for your brain.
2. Vitamin E supplements might not help
However, taking vitamin E supplements may not help. Clinical trials looking at Vitamin E have not demonstrated significant benefits for Vitamin E yet.
3. Risks of Vitamin E
Vitamin E in high doses isn't completely harmless. It has been linked to cancer and higher overall mortality.

Background

Vitamin E
The Basics
Key Facts
Vitamin E
The Basics
Key Facts
  • Type
    Fat Soluble
  • Other Names
    α-tocopherol
  • Sources
    Diet, Liver
Appearance
Uses:

Antioxidant

Inflammation

Immunity

Vitamin E
Key Facts
Amount per day

15mg

Source: Institute of Medicine

Types of Foods

Nuts & Seeds

Sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and almonds

Deficiency

Rare in healthy individuals

Study 1

Dietary Vitamin E
Eating a lot of vitamin E rich foods has been shown to improve brain health.
Link between Vitamin E & Brain Health

A study looking at the dietary habits of 2,889 individuals found that those who had a lot of Vitamin E in their diet had a lower rate of cognitive decline compared to those who did not.

Data Source

"Vitamin E intake, from foods or supplements, is associated with less cognitive decline with age."

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12117360/

Study 2

Vitamin E Supplements & Brain Health
A study that gave 10 years of Vitamin E supplements to nearly 40,000 women found that long term use of Vitamin E likely did not offer any benefits for cognitive decline.
Vitamin E & Cognitive Decline in Women

A study looking at nearly 40,000 women found that those who took vitamin E supplements had no difference in cognitive score compared to those who took a placebo control: 9.6 years of treatment: mean difference, 0.00; 95% CI, -0.04 to 0.04

Data Source

"Long-term use of vitamin E supplements did not provide cognitive benefits among generally healthy older women."

Source: A randomized trial of vitamin E supplementation and cognitive function in women

Vitamin E Risks

Vitamin E & Mortality Risk

A meta-analysis that studied 19 clinical trials covering 135,967 participants found that Vitamin E supplements may be linked to higher mortality. 9/11 trials showed a higher risk of death with Vitamin E supplements. This effect was found to be highly significant, P = 0.035 for high dose Vitamin E supplements.

More Info

How Does Nutrition Affect The Brain?

"although the results are not always consistent, most studies have reported a protective role of dietary intakes of poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids against cognitive decline and AD. "

How Common is Cognitive Decline?

"In 2002, an estimated 5.4 million people (22.2%) in the United States age 71 years or older had cognitive impairment without dementia. Prominent subtypes included prodromal Alzheimer disease (8.2%) and cerebrovascular disease (5.7%). Among participants who completed follow-up assessments, 11.7% with cognitive impairment without dementia progressed to dementia annually, whereas those with subtypes of prodromal Alzheimer disease and stroke progressed at annual rates of 17% to 20%. "

Do dietary supplements help brain health?

"Considering the insufficient evidence for their efficacy, potential for interaction with other therapies and costs to patients, physicians should be aware of the use of dietary supplements among their patients so that they can advise their patients on the potential benefits and harms."