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'Vitamin E may improve physical functioning of the elderly'

'Vitamin E may improve physical functioning of the elderly'
24th January 2008

Researchers have claimed that vitamin E may ward off physical decline in the elderly.

A study at Yale University School of Medicine revealed that people aged over 65 years old with low levels of the vitamin performed worse in a series of physical tests.

The researchers have suggested that vitamin E has antioxidant properties which protect the body's tissues from the damage caused by charge particles, reports the BBC.

Approximately 700 volunteers from around Florence, Italy participated in three physical tests- a short walk, balance and standing from a seated position- they were then monitored for a three year period.

The results of the study, which are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that the odds of declining physical functioning were 1.62 times greater in an individual with low vitamin E levels.

"Our results suggest that an appropriate dietary intake of vitamin E may help to reduce the decline in physical function among older persons," concluded lead researcher, Dr Benedetta Bartali.

According to the Food Standards Agency, vitamin E is found in plant oils such as soya and olive oil as well as nuts, seeds and wheatgerm.

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