Vitamin E and Alzheimer’s disease: the mediating role of cellular aging

Martina Casati, Virginia Boccardi, Evelyn Ferri, Laura Bertagnoli, Patrizia Bastiani, Simona Ciccone, Marta Mansi, Michela Scamosci, Paolo Dionigi Rossi, Patrizia Mecocci, Beatrice Arosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Vitamin E represents a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory system, playing a role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Different plasma concentrations of the forms of vitamin E are observed in AD compared to cognitively healthy subjects. Aim: Since these modifications may modulate the markers of oxidative stress and cellular aging, we aim to explore the relationship between vitamin E forms and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in AD. Methods: 53 AD subjects and 40 cognitively healthy controls (CTs) were enrolled. The vitamin E forms (α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocopherol, α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocotrienol), the ratio of α-tocopherylquinone/α-tocopherol and 5-nitro-γ-tocopherol/γ-tocopherol (markers of oxidative/nitrosative damage) and LTL were measured. Results and discussion: Regression model was used to explore the associations of vitamin E forms and LTL with AD. The interaction of LTL in the association between vitamin E forms and AD was tested. AD subjects showed significantly lower concentrations of α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocopherol, α- and δ-tocotrienol, total tocopherols, total tocotrienols and total vitamin E compared to CTs. AD subjects showed higher values of nitrosative/oxidative damage. The adjusted analyses confirmed a significant relationship of AD with plasma concentrations of α- and β-tocopherols, δ-tocotrienol, total tocopherols, total tocotrienol, total vitamin E and oxidative/nitrosative damage. However, nitrosative damage was significantly associated with AD only in subjects with higher LTL and not in those expressing marked cellular aging. Conclusions: Our study confirms the role of vitamin E in AD pathology and indicates that nitrosative damage influences the association with AD only in subjects characterized by longer LTL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-464
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020



  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Nitrosative stress
  • Oxidative stress
  • Telomere length
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this