By working with zebrafish, researchers have shown ways that vitamin E deficiency can damage the brain. They found that the fish in this study had 30% lower levels of DHA-PC, which is an important component of neurons in the brain. Not only were levels of DHA lower, but levels of the nutrients that deliver DHA to the brain were lower, as well.
These zebrafish had levels of vitamin E deficiency that represented about the equivalent of a human having a vitamin E deficiency for an entire lifetime.
What does this research mean for us? Low levels of vitamin E proved to be responsible for a decrease in some of the important pieces our bodies need for proper brain development and maintenance. Past research has already shown that low levels of DHA-PC in humans can indicate a higher chance of that human developing Alzheimer’s disease. If vitamin E levels can lower levels of DHA-PC in the body, it’s not a stretch to consider that people who are vitamin E deficient might be at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s, as well. More research is needed, but as this research clearly shows that vitamin E is associated with brain protection, it’s a good idea to make sure that your diet includes foods that will keep your levels where they need to be! Pass the nuts and seeds, please!
Read more about this research here.