Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Vitamin E Gets A Bum Rap

You may have read the headlines recently stating that vitamin E supplementation does more harm than good. There was a study published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine that did what's called a meta-analysis of the results of 19 clinical trials on vitamin E.

These researchers reported that taking high doses of vitamin E (greater than 400 IU per day) increased risk of all-cause mortality and concluded that high dose vitamin E supplements should be avoided.

Below is what I received from Dr. Julian Whitaker refuting the validity of this study. After you read this I think you'll agree that the media wasn't giving the best information in reporting this supposed story. Dr. Whitaker: First, the participants in this review of studies were already suffering from a wide range of medical conditions from heart disease and cancer to kidney disease and Alzheimer's. As the researchers themselves admitted, it's impossible to ascertain if results would be the same in a healthy population.

Second, the statistical analysis is suspect. Only nine of the 19 studies focused solely on vitamin E, while 10 looked at vitamin E combined with other vitamins and minerals. Thus, any outcome can hardly be conclusive.

Therefore, headlines screaming "Vitamin E may raise death rates" or "Vitamin E might make heart disease worse" are irresponsible, unfounded, and an unnecessary scare tactic.

The benefits of vitamin E supplementation are well documented. I emphatically believe that not only is the use of vitamin E safe, but highly therapeutic. Thousands of studies support vitamin E's role in cardiovascular disease, immune function, and a number of other conditions.

The Institute of Medicine and the federal government agree that vitamin E is safe at levels as high as 1600 IU per day for natural vitamin E (the form I recommend you use) or 1000 IU of synthetic vitamin E, the form most likely used in this study. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, "This meta-analysis provides no convincing evidence to the contrary."

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