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Study Shows Possible New Benefit of Vitamin E

A number of studies have linked vitamin E to numerous health benefits. Now a recent study has found that taking supplements of the vitamin may decrease the risk of developing the fatal neurological condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard University and their findings were published in the February 2011 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a fatal disease which attacks the nerve cells that control movement, progressively leading to paralysis and death from respiratory failure. Approximately 5,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 5 studies that combined had over 1 million total participants. They found that people who regularly took vitamin E supplements for at least 5 years were 1/3 less likely to develop ALS.

The researchers did, however, note that it is still too early to determine specifically how effective vitamin E is for reducing the risk of ALS, as their findings do not prove that vitamin E provided the benefit seen.

Despite the many benefits previously linked to vitamin E, most Americans do not receive the bare minimum daily recommendation for vitamin E, which is 15 mg daily for adults.

Vitamin E plays an important role in various functions in the body and has also been linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and certain cancers as well as boosting the immune system. These benefits are largely attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E and its high level of antioxidants.

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