International Experts Convene on Vitamin E Benefits and Potency

Conference Report Could Impact Nutritional Guidelines

BOSTON, Jun 14, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Renowned experts from around the world in the fields of medicine, nutrition, chemistry and biology met recently to share research findings and to move towards a consensus on the specific biological functions and relative potencies of the various forms of vitamin E in the human body. The discussions should impact the recommended intake levels for the nutritional supplement, which has been widely celebrated for its antioxidant properties and potential to prevent cancer and cardio-vascular disease.

The round table meeting, initiated by the Oxygen Club of California in cooperation with BASF Aktiengesellschaft, was chaired by Lester Packer, Ph.D., University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, and Salomon Stavchansky, Ph.D., University of Texas College of Pharmacy and organized by Frank Kelly, Ph.D., King's College, and Moshen Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D., Tufts University. The session came one day in advance of the prestigious vitamin E and Health Conference in Boston, MA, which was sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences.

"Recent research is revolutionizing our understanding of the numerous forms of vitamin E and expanding the recognized benefits of vitamin E intake for human health and disease prevention," Dr. Packer said. "This is not the time to take a narrow view of vitamin E potency and efficacy, either as researchers or on nutrition labels."

The round table discussion addressed the following topics:

* Valid biomarkers for vitamin E function in humans

* Relevance of plasma levels in establishing biopotency for different
forms of vitamin E

* Appropriate biopotency ratio of natural vs. synthetic forms of
vitamin E

* Intake values for nutritional and supplemental ingestion of vitamin E

* Priority areas for future research

A consensus statement of recommendations from the round table will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. In addition, the conclusions will be shared with the U.S. Institute of Medicine's Food & Nutrition Board, US Pharmacopeia, international regulatory bodies and the news media.

"The panel identified several new and exciting directions for future research," Dr. Packer noted. "Our shared vision embraces both fundamental research and investigations into the biomedical implications of vitamin E as an agent to maintain good health and protect against disease."

Participants at the roundtable meeting included: Angelo Azzi, M.D., University of Bern; Regina Brigelius-Flohe, Ph.D., German Institute of Human Nutrition; Willy Cohn, Ph.D., DSM Nutritional Products; Frank Kelly, Ph.D., King's College; Klaus Kraemer, Ph.D., BASF Aktiengesellschaft; John Lodge, Ph.D., University of Surrey; Joseph Lunec, Ph.D., University of Leicester; Moshen Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D., Tufts University; Simin Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D., Tufts University; David Muller, Ph.D., Institute of Child Health; Gerald Rimbach, Ph.D., University of Kiel; Helmut Sies, M.D., Ph.D., University of Dusseldorf; Timothy Sontag, Cornell University; Salomon Stavchansky, Ph.D., University of Texas; Maret Traber, Ph.D., Oregon State University; Ute Obermueller-Jevic, Ph.D., BASF Aktiengesellschaft and Govind Vatassery, Ph.D., V.A. Medical Center in Minneapolis.

The NYAS conference marked the first major conference devoted entirely to vitamin E since 1989. During the past 15 years, a number of new functions have been identified within the family of vitamin E molecules, including new information regarding the role of vitamin E in cell signaling, gene activity and pathways of metabolism. New information has also been emerging for the role of vitamin E in the prevention of infections and disease. This multi- disciplinary conference reviewed research to date and develop directions for new vitamin E research over the next decade.

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