Reducing the decline in physical function that occurs with aging is important for maintaining independence. Better nutrition may help maintain physical function in the elderly. A recent study evaluating the decline in physical function and blood levels of nutrients found that vitamin E was beneficial in the elderly for maintaining their physical performance.
In a 3-year study of 698 community-living persons 65 years or older, higher serum vitamin E levels were associated with better maintenance of physical function at a 3-year follow-up assessment.
Researchers stated that low vitamin E levels might contribute to physical decline by:
1. Increasing oxidative stress leading to muscle or DHA damage
2. The exacerbation of atherosclerosis
3. The development of neurodegenerative disorders
Bartali and others. "Serum Micronutrient Concentrations and Decline in Physical Function Among Older Persons." JAMA, 2008;299(3)308-15.