Researchers have identified how a lack of vitamin E could trigger damage to the brain – by interfering with the supply of nutrients to the brain that are important to neuronal health.
The research, carried out by scientists at Oregon State University and presented in the Journal of Lipid Research, involved analyzing zebrafish fed a diet deficient in vitamin E throughout their lives.
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E were identified to have about 30% reduced levels of DHA-PC, an element of the cellular membrane of brain cells (neurons). Earlier research recommends that low amounts of DHA-PC in humans are connected with a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, the vitamin E-deficient fish also had reduced levels of an essential group of compounds known as lysoPLs – nutrients that are required to get DHA into the brain and also for supporting the repair of damaged membranes. LysoPL levels were, on average, 60% reduced in the zebrafish deficient in vitamin E.
Lead author Dr. Maret Traber said
“You cannot construct a house without the necessary materials.” In a perception, if vitamin E is not enough, we are cutting by over half the amount of materials with which we can develop and maintain the brain.”
In the US, an approximated 96% of adult women and 90% of adult men do not get sufficient vitamin E in their diet. With respect to the study’s authors, the zebrafish had levels of vitamin E insufficiency equal to humans eating a vitamin E deficient diet for a life-time.
Vitamin E required to avoid loss of ‘critically essential molecule in the brain’
DHA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and is recognized by experts as among the most essential nutrients acquired from omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are generally identified in foods like as fish oils, flax, walnuts, eggs and leafy dark veggies like spinach.
Dr. Traber explains “Human brains are really rich in DHA but they can’t make it, they get it from the liver.” The particular molecules that help bring it there are these lyso PLs, and the levels of those substances is being considerably decreased when vitamin E consumption is inadequate. This sets the stage for cellular membrane damage and neuronal death.”
Dr. Traber claims that other study has confirmed that the rate of Alzheimer’s disease advancement can be decreased with higher vitamin E consumption. However, she suggests that the neurological problem may just suggest long-term neuronal damage that has already took place.
The investigators will next turn their focus to analyzing the results of vitamin E deficiency on zebrafish embryos. The present research was partially financed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“There’s significantly clear proof that vitamin E is connected with brain protection, and now we are starting to better understand some of the fundamental mechanisms,” concludes Dr. Traber. “This study showed that vitamin E is required to avoid a dramatic loss of a significantly essential molecule in the brain, and helps describe why vitamin E is required for brain health.”
With respect to the NIH, most vitamin E is received from the oils of soybean, canola, corn and other veggies. The best sources of the vitamin are nuts and seeds like as sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts. Green leafy veggies like as spinach and broccoli also consist of significant quantities of vitamin E.