Vitamin E & Parkinson's Disease
Those who have a lot of Vitamin E in their diet also have a significantly lower risk of developing Parkinson's Disease. Legumes, including peas and chickpeas, have a particularly high protective effect against Parkinson's Disease.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD

Key Points

Vitamin E & Parkinson's Disease
1. High Vitamin E = Less Parkinson's Disease Risk
Those who have a lot of Vitamin E in their diet also have a significantly lower risk of developing Parkinson's Disease.
2. Vitamin E Rich Foods
Legumes, including peas and chickpeas, have a particularly strong protective effect against Parkinson's Diseases
3. Prevention, Not Cure
However, as far as we know, this effect only applies to preventing Parkinson's Disease, not curing it.

Background

Parkinson's Disease
What is it?
Key facts
Parkinson's Disease
What is it?
Type
Neurodegenerative Disease
Affects
Dopaminergic neurons in the brain
Key symptoms:

Shaking

Stiffness

Balance issues

Parkinson's Disease
Key facts
# of Americans

900,000+

900,000+ Americans have Parkinson's Disease.

Before Age 50

4%

Only 4% of cases are diagnosed before age 50.

Gender ratio
Men: 1.5x
Women: 1x

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

Vitamin E & Parkinson's Disease Risk
One study found that those who ate more food with Vitamin E had a significantly lower risk of Parkinson's Disease

Eating a diet rich in vitamin E was associated with a reduction in Parkinson's Disease risk, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.49 to 0.93), compared to those who ate the least Vitamin E. Supplements did not decrease risk. Similar, nuts, a food high in Vitamin E, also decreased risk of Parkinson's Disease: "for ≥5/week vs <1/month, pooled RR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.95"

Our Take
This study suggests that a diet rich in Vitamin E may protect against Parkinson's Disease. However, taking supplements themselves may not help.

Data Source

"Use of vitamin supplements and high intake of carotenoids do not appear to reduce the risk of PD. The reduction in risk of PD associated with high dietary vitamin E intake suggests that other constituents of foods rich in vitamin E may be protective. "

Source: Intakes of vitamins E and C, carotenoids, vitamin supplements, and PD risk

Study 2

Legumes, Vitamin E, and Parkinson's Disease
Another study further supports the argument that Vitamin E may be beneficial for Parkinson's Disease prevention. Eating lots of legumes, which include foods such as lentils, peas, and chickpeas, may help prevent Parkinson's Disease.

A Case-Control study found that those who ate lots of legumes, including lentils and peas, had a significantly lower risk of developing Parkinson's Disease: adjusted OR = 0.27, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.78.

Our Take
This study suggested that eating lots of Legumes, including peas and lentils, correlated with a significantly lower risk of Parkinson's Disease. While the study doesn't specifically find benefits for Vitamin E, the high Vitamin E content of these foods supports the link between Vitamin E and Parkinson's Disease.

Data Source

"Though consistent with prior reports of PD protection afforded by legumes, and with speculation on the possible benefits of dietary or supplemental vitamin E in preventing PD, these preliminary data do not conclusively document a beneficial effect of dietary vitamin E on PD occurrence."

Source: Case‐control study of idiopathic Parkinson's disease and dietary vitamin E intake

Study 3

Meta-Analysis
A meta-analysis confirms this relationship. They analyzed 8 studies and determined that consuming vitamin E in your diet correlates with a significant reduction in your risk of developing Parkinson's Disease.

A meta-analysis found that those who ate lots of Vitamin E also had a lower risk of Parkinson's Disease. This was found for both moderate intake, "relative risk 0·81, 95% CI 0·67–0·98", and high intake: 0·78, 0·57–1·06

Data Source

"We conclude that dietary vitamin E may have a neuroprotective effect attenuating the risk of PD. These results require confirmation in randomized controlled trials."

Source: Intake of vitamin E, vitamin C, and carotenoids and the risk of Parkinson's disease: a meta-analysis

Vitamin E

Antioxidant
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. This may be one of the factor's behind it's believed benefits.
Key Facts
Examples
Antioxidants
Key Facts
How they work

Antioxidants prevent cell damage by counteracting free radicals.

Effect on Disease

Research on Antioxidants and disease prevention has shown mixed results.

Common Sources

Chocolate

Berries & Fruit

Coffee

Antioxidants
Examples
beta-carotene

Your body makes vitamin A with beta-carotene, commonly found in carrots.

Vitamin C

Found in all sorts of fruits, Vitamin C is a very commonly consumed antioxidant.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be found in nuts and seeds.

More Info

Vitamin E

Vitamin E Benefits

"The body also needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria. Vitamin E is also important in the formation of red blood cells. It helps the body use vitamin K. It also helps widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside them."

More Info

Parkinson's Disease

Risk Factors for Parkinson's Disease

"Most experts agree that PD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors (chemicals, toxins, head trauma). The interactions between genes and the environment can be quite complex. Some environmental exposures may lower the risk of PD, while others may increase it. "