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Vitamin E

I am once agin amazed at these studies that keep coming along telling you that if you take vitamins you will get very sick or worse.  I am not too sure this is the scientific method I learned in the years of science classes I took over many years of schooling.

I've been in health care since the early 1960s.  I statrted studying and using natural health in the mid 50s.  Over many years of education and work in this field I have yet to have come into contact with anyone harmed by vitamins.

We know people are harmed and killed every day by pharmaceuticals.  We do not hear this on the news.

My experience with these reports and the studies is that there are problems from the outset; the first being the use of SYNTHETIC vitamins (in this case dl-alpha tocopherol or synthetic vitamin E).

This is the first mistake.

Other negative vitamin E studies I have reviewed use synthetic vitamin E in the process.

Another concern I have is that generally, if you know your natural health inside and out like I do you know that the key elements for protecting the protate happen to be zinc (low dose) and selenium (selenomethionine or sea based).  If this study utilized zinc and selenium in the proper forms the results would be much different.

Zinc (I use a low dose food based form) is the mineral for glandular health.  The prostate is a gland.  Selenium (in the correct form as noted above)  is well established as protectective of the prostate and has anticancer properties.

Please make sure you fail to accept reports on specious studies such as this one.  And make sure John LaPook does more research before he tells Scott Pelley and you that you can get the best health from your diet.
Duffy MacKay of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a supplement makers' trade group, said the study shouldn't be interpreted as questioning the benefits of vitamin E as an essential nutrient, and he said there is evidence that many Americans don't get enough.
Read comments from MedPage Today Vitamin E articles here and here

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service released this commentary -

October 14, 2011
Vitamin E Attacked Again
Of Course. Because It Works.
by Andrew W. Saul
Editor, Orthomolecular Medicine News Service
(OMNS, Oct 14, 2011) The very first Orthomolecular Medicine News Service release was on the clinical benefits of vitamin E. That was seven years ago. (1) In fact, the battle over vitamin E has been going full-tilt for over 60 years. (2)
Well, you can say one thing for vitamin critics: at least they are consistent. Consistently wrong, but consistent.
A recent accusation against vitamin E is that somehow it increases risk of prostate cancer. (3) That is nonsense. If you take close look at the numbers, you will see that "Compared with placebo, the absolute increase in risk of prostate cancer per 1000 person-years was 1.6 for vitamin E, 0.8 for selenium, and 0.4 for the combination." That works out to be a claimed 0.63% increase risk with vitamin E alone, 0.24% increase in risk with vitamin E and selenium, and 0.15% increase in risk for selenium alone.
Note the decimal points: these are very small figures. But more importantly, note that the combination of selenium with vitamin E resulted in a much smaller number of deaths. If vitamin E were really the problem, vitamin E with selenium would have been a worse problem. Selenium recharges vitamin E, recycling it and effectively rendering it more potent. Something is wrong here, and it isn't the vitamin E. Indeed, a higher dose of vitamin E might work as well as E with selenium, and be more protective.
And, in fact, this study did show that supplementation was beneficial. Vitamin E and selenium reduced risk of all-cause mortality by about 0.2%., and also reduced the risk of serious cardiovascular events by 0.3%. Vitamin E reduced risk of serious cardiovascular events by 0.7%. But what you were told, and just about all you were told, was "Vitamin E causes cancer!"
The oldest political trick in the book is to create doubt, then fear, and then conformity of action. The pharmaceutical industry knows this full well. One does not waste time and money attacking something that does not work. Vitamin E works, and the evidence is abundant.
Specifically in regards to prostate cancer, new research published in the International Journal of Cancer has shown that gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, actually kills prostate cancer stem cells. (4) As you would expect, these are the very cells from which prostate cancer develops. They are or quickly become chemotherapy-resistant. And yet natural vitamin E complex contains the very thing to kill them. Mice given gamma-tocotrienol orally had an astonishing 75% decrease in tumor formation. Gamma-tocotrienol also is effective against existing prostate tumors. (5,6)
  • Vitamin E reduces mortality by 24% in persons 71 or older. Even persons who smoke live longer if they take vitamin E. Hemila H, Kaprio J. Age Ageing, 2011. 40(2): 215-220. January 17.
  • Taking 300 IU vitamin E per day reduces lung cancer by 61%. (Mahabir S, Schendel K, Dong YQ et al. Dietary alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols in lung cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;123(5):1173-80.) For further information: Vitamin E prevents lung cancer. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, Oct 29, 2008.
  • Vitamin E is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis. Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute knew this half a century ago. (1) In 1995, JAMA published research that confirmed it, saying: "Subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake of 100 IU per day or greater demonstrated less coronary artery lesion progression than did subjects with supplementary vitamin E intake less than 100 IU per day." (Hodis HN, Mack WJ, LaBree L et al. Serial coronary angiographic evidence that antioxidant vitamin intake reduces progression of coronary artery atherosclerosis. JAMA, 1995. 273:1849-1854.)
  • 400 to 800 IU of vitamin E daily reduces risk of heart attack by 77%. (Stephens NG et al. Randomized controlled trial of vitamin E in patients with coronary artery disease: Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study (CHAOS). Lancet, March 23, 1996; 347:781-786.)
  • Increasing vitamin E with supplements prevents COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis] (Agler AH et al. Randomized vitamin E supplementation and risk of chronic lung disease (CLD) in the Women's Health Study. American Thoracic Society 2010 International Conference, May 18, 2010.) Summary at
  • 800 IU vitamin E per day is a successful treatment for fatty liver disease. (Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.)
  • Alzheimer's patients who take 2,000 IU of vitamin E per day live longer. (Pavlik VN, Doody RS, Rountree SD, Darby EJ. Vitamin E use is associated with improved survival in an Alzheimer's disease cohort. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;28(6):536-40.) Summary at
    See also: Grundman M. Vitamin E and Alzheimer disease: the basis for additional clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):630S-636S. Free access to full text at )
  • 400 IU of Vitamin E per day reduces epileptic seizures in children by more than 60%. (Ogunmekan AO, Hwang PA. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate [vitamin E], as add-on therapy, for epilepsy in children. Epilepsia. 1989 Jan-Feb; 30(1):84-9.)
  • Vitamin E supplements help prevent amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This important finding is the result of a 10-year-plus Harvard study of over a million persons. (Wang H, O'Reilly EJ, Weisskopf MG, et al. Vitamin E intake and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pooled analysis of data from 5 prospective cohort studies. Am. J. Epidemiol, 2011. 173 (6): 595-602. March 15)
  • Vitamin E is more effective than a prescription drug in treating chronic liver disease (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis). Said the authors: "The good news is that this study showed that cheap and readily available vitamin E can help many of those with this condition." Sanyal AJ, Chalasani N, Kowdley KV et al. Pioglitazone, vitamin E, or placebo for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 6;362(18):1675-85.

What Kind of Vitamin E?

Which work best: natural or synthetic vitamins? The general debate might not end anytime soon. However, with vitamin E, we already know. The best E is the most natural form, generally called "mixed natural tocopherols and tocotrienols." This is very different from the synthetic form, DL-alpha tocopherol. In choosing a vitamin E supplement, you should carefully read the label... the entire label. It is remarkable how many natural-looking brown bottles with natural-sounding brand names contain a synthetic vitamin. And no, we do not make brand recommendations. Furthermore, OMNS has no commercial affiliations or funding.
Unfortunately, that's not the case with some authors of the negative vitamin E paper. (3) You will not see this in the abstract at the JAMA website, of course, but if you read the entire paper, and get to the very last page (1556), you'll find the "Conflict of Interest" section. Here you will discover that a number of the study authors have received money from pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, AstraZeneca, Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Amgen, Firmagon, and Novartis. In terms of cash, these are some of the largest corporations on the planet.
Well how about that: a "vitamins are dangerous" article, in one of the most popular medical journals, with lots of media hype . . . and the pharmaceutical industry's fingerprints all over it.

So How Much Vitamin E?

More than the RDA, and that's for certain. A common dosage range for vitamin E is between 200 and 800 IU/day. Some orthomolecular physicians advocate substantially more than that. The studies cited above will give you a ballpark idea. However, this is an individual matter for you and your practitioner to work out. Your own reading and research, before you go to your doctor, will help you determine optimal intake. If your doctor quotes a negative vitamin study, then haul out the positive ones. You may start with this article. There are more links to more information at and


And as for the old saw argument that supplement-users are supposedly dying like flies, consider this: Over 200 million Americans take vitamin supplements. So where are the bodies? Well, there aren't any. There has not been a single death from vitamins in 27 years. . Share that with your doctor as well. And with the news media.

Selections from Natural Health News about vit E

Oct 11, 2011
16 hours ago
The most commonly used supplements were calcium, multivitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Through 2008, 40.2% of the women died. After adjustment for demographics, dietary and lifestyle factors, comorbidities, and use of ...

Aug 16, 2010
I think it would be a great service to patients with pain, FMS, and neuropathy if SIM started a study to show you just how effective natural vitamin E can be to prevent and reverse neuropathy. ...
Jan 23, 2008
Over the past several years there have been numerous reports trying to convince you that vitamin E is bad for health. One public television station even aired a program with panelist from a local Spokane WA area hospital ...
Jun 08, 2010
Participants were randomly assigned to receive vitamin E supplementation (alpha-tocopherol 400 mg/day) or placebo. Treatment was started orally before chemotherapy and continued for 3 months after the suspension of ...

Selenium -

May 11, 2011
Most of the selenium in the body comes from the diet. The amount of selenium in food depends on where it is grown or raised. Crab, liver, fish, poultry, and wheat are generally good selenium sources. ...

Dec 05, 2008
All they would have to do is to read the reports on E, C, Selenium and the Jupiter Study on Natural Health News. It's a simple thing to use our search function, and real data. You can even link to our reading site with ...
Dec 01, 2008
KHA reported some years ago about manganese and selenium, thymus support to raise cell counts and other more natural things that have helped many people. They also encourage a whole food and organic food plan. ...
Jun 19, 2009
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lost its bid to overturn a health claim for selenium-containing dietary supplements last Thursday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. District Court Judge Ellen ...

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