Natural Foods Merchandiser

Vitamins C and E, green tea in the news

A July Journal of the American Medical Association study on more than 40,000 women reported that vitamin E reduced cardiovascular-related deaths but did not appear to prevent cancer or heart disease in the same population.

The study found that the 20,000 women taking vitamin E (600 IU every other day) experienced a 24 percent reduction in cardiovascular deaths, compared with the 20,000 women in the placebo group. Furthermore, women older than 65 who took vitamin E had a cardiovascular death reduction of 49 percent.

These results contrast with earlier, smaller studies on sick subjects that showed that vitamin E consumption elevated the risk of death.

Vitamin C gets cold shoulder
Vitamin C does not significantly prevent the common cold in most people, according to a recent meta-analysis of more than 55 studies published since 1940.

The review, published in the Public Library Science of Medicine, found that subjects who took at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C did not experience fewer colds compared with placebo groups. Further, the study reported that large doses of vitamin C (10 grams per day) did not reduce a cold?s duration or symptom severity.

The study did find that vitamin C may help extreme athletes ward off the common cold by as much as 50 percent and that ascorbic acid may prevent colds in children.

Red light for green tea claim
The Food and Drug Administration put the kibosh on a proposed health claim for green tea, stating there is not enough evidence that it prevents cancer.

In its statement, the agency said studies fail to demonstrate that green tea prevents cancer. However, the FDA did not look at studies of green tea?s active ingredient, epigallocatechin gallate, and may not have studied Asian populations with high green tea consumption levels, said the scientist who submitted the health claim proposal.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 8/p. 10

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