In response to a study, “Effect of Vitamin E and Memantine on Functional Decline in Alzheimer Disease,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, issued the following statement:
Statement by Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:
“This study is significant as it presents strong data on the safety of vitamin E, at high doses, and dismisses previous questions raised about the safety of this essential nutrient. The authors stated, ‘In contrast to the conclusion drawn from a 2005 meta-analysis of vitamin E, which showed that high-dose vitamin E (≥400 IU/d) may increase the risk of all-cause mortality, we found no significant increase in mortality with vitamin E.’ This new study demonstrates that scientists seeking to slam the door on vitamins, and new vitamin research, is the antithesis of what science is all about.
“In addition to confirming the safety of vitamin E, this study, one of the largest and longest treatment trials in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, found 2000 IU/daily of vitamin E compared with placebo resulted in slower functional decline in these patients. These results point to a powerful role of integrating proper nutrition into disease management, and provide hope for Alzheimer’s patients and their care givers. However, the dietary supplement industry should be reminded that dietary supplements cannot be marketed or sold to consumers as a disease treatment, and we recommend that those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease rely on the advice of a trusted doctor as to the appropriate treatment plan. Self-dosing at the levels studied in this trial are not recommended.
“It is commendable that aspects of this study ‘reflect the best in trials of Alzheimer disease therapy,’ as noted in an accompanying editorial, though we still encourage more research to further assess the role vitamin E plays in both the prevention and treatment of this very complicated disease.”