Researchers in Italy examined 698 people aged over 65 living in the community and followed up after three and five years.
Participants’ physical performance was measured using a standardised measure and micronutrient levels were also assessed.
Patients with blood concentrations of Vitamin E of less than 1.1 micrograms per millilitre were 65% more likely to experience decline in physical function.
Authors wrote: ‘Clinical trials may be warranted to determine whether an optimal concentration of vitamin E reduces functional decline and the onset of disability in older persons.’
Journal of the American Medical Association (2008) 299:308-315