Flawed Meta-Analysis Misrepresents Vitamin E Research
November 16, 2004 ––
A flawed "retrospective review" published in the Annals of Internal Medicine took a narrow look at only 19 of the more than 2,170 published papers addressing the efficacy and safety of Vitamin E. Strangely, "18 of those 19 clinical studies showed no increase in the risk for health complications or fatalities with Vitamin E versus a control group. Only one study out of the 19 demonstrated a higher risk and that study was with patients who were using estrogen hormone replacement therapy (HRT) along with Vitamin E."
Advice to Patients: Don't Throw Away Your Vitamin E
Dietary Supplement Information Bureau
"Do not throw away your vitamin E," said C. Wayne Callaway, MD, Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition. "One study does not outweigh the many studies that document the benefits of vitamin E in people who need it and the lack of harm in people who do not." In response to the meta-analysis, the DSIB launched a new Web site - www.vitaminEfacts.org - to help consumers obtain accurate information on vitamin E.
Military Program Proposes Saving Money Through Vitamin E Supplementation
WASHINGTON, May 22, 1997 –– A new report by the National Defense Council Foundation finds that the federal government could save up to $6.3 billion annually by increasing the health of active and retired military personnel through a anti–aging program that includes the use of Vitamin E supplementation.
Vitamin E's Powerful Family Of Antioxidants
Eight natural compounds have vitamin E activity. These are the four tocopherols, designated as alpha, beta, gamma and delta, and four tocotrienols also designated as alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Yet, alpha-tocopherol has become synonymous with vitamin E. It is the most bioactive form based on the rat foetal resorption test, the classical assay for vitamin E activity. Recent research, however, shows that the other tocopherols and tocotrienols have important and unique antioxidant and other biological effects in nutrition and health. [ 1,2 ] This paper will review the biological function of tocopherols and tocotrienols and their role in health and disease.
Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamin E
On a supplement label, natural vitamin E is listed as d-alpha tocopherol, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, or d-alpha tocopheryl succinate. In contrast, synthetic forms of vitamin E are labeled with a dl- prefix. Alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically active form of vitamin E, and its natural form consists of one isomer. In contrast, synthetic alpha-tocopherol contains eight different isomers, of which only one (about 12 percent of the synthetic molecule) is identical to natural vitamin E. The other seven isomers range in potency from 21 percent to 90 percent of natural d-alpha-tocopherol.
Vitamin E 2000
For decades vitamin E has maintained a position along with vitamin C and calcium as one of the three most popular single-ingredient dietary supplements. As scientists continue to examine the role of free radicals in disease initiation and promotion, research substantiates this potent antioxidant's ability to treat stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Vitamin E Gains New Protective Role for the Heart
Researchers have discovered a new role for vitamin E in heart disease protection. Vitamin E supplements lowered blood levels of two key substances that contribute to atherosclerosis, according to a study conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. This may be especially important for diabetics who are at high risk of heart disease and have circulatory problems.
Vitamin E: Weighing the Tocopherols
Next to vitamin C, vitamin E is probably the most well-known vitamin. In an informal survey I conducted among acquaintances, adults could tell me that alpha-tocopherol is vitamin E and that it is an antioxidant. Many people were aware of claims that vitamin E supplementation slows aging, improves immunity, protects against cancer and heart disease, and is generally good for health. But not many people knew if they got enough. Not even doctors are clear if vitamin E supplements are necessary to prevent deficiency.
Two New Studies Find Natural Vitamin E Better Absorbed, Retained Than Synthetic
Researchers have long known that natural vitamin E, milligram for milligram, is about 36 percent more potent than the synthetic form of the vitamin. In fact, the "international unit," or IU, standard was developed to compensate for these differences. But two new studies using different groups of people - not laboratory animals - have found that natural vitamin E is utilized twice as efficiently as the synthetic form.