Despite the literally thousands of studies on vitamin E, many confirming its positive effects on cardiovascular health and other conditions, an article published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine that studied just a handful suggests that “high-dose” vitamin E (400 international units (IU) or more) is associated with a greater risk of dying.
Although the researchers themselves acknowledged the limitations of their study when applied to most healthy people, they have nevertheless called for a reduction in U.S. dietary guidelines for vitamin E, which currently recommend an upper limit of 1,500 IU.
The research, which analyzed clinical trial data from 19 studies, focused on nine that involved dosages of vitamin E over 400 IU. Most of the patients in the studies were over 60-years of age and had chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and Alzheimer's. The reported increased risk of deaths associated with higher doses of vitamin E was only slightly higher than the risk among those not taking the supplement. The studies reviewed, some of which were more than 10 years old, were of varying quality and contained a wide range of dosages.
“This is arm chair science at its worst,” said David Seckman, NNFA's executive director and CEO. “Researchers are well aware that casting doubt on any product that has had overwhelmingly positive findings is a formula for getting noticed. Unfortunately, many in the press are all too willing to lend credence to research that is not conclusive.”
For more information on vitamin E, including its health benefits, clinical applications and other science-based findings, go to: www.supplementinfo.org