Vitamin E Supplements May Benefit Kidney Dialysis Patients

BACKGROUND: Patients with kidney failure or undergoing long-term dialysis
commonly have elevated levels of free radicals. These free radicals may
contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, a leading cause of death
among dialysis patients.

RESEARCH: Researchers asked 14 male and female patients on CAPD (chronic
ambulatory peritoneal dialysis) to take 400 IU of vitamin E for six weeks.
Blood chemistry workups were conducted before supplementation, at six
weeks, and at 12 weeks. At the beginning of the study, patients had
elevated blood levels of malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidized fats.

RESULTS: After six weeks of supplementation with vitamin E, blood levels of
malondialdehyde declined significantly, indicating an improvement in
antioxidant defenses. This improvement continued during follow-up blood
testing six weeks after vitamin E supplementation ended.

IMPLICATIONS: This study adds to a growing body of research indicating that
supplementation with vitamin E may be beneficial to kidney dialysis
patients. One recent clinical trial of kidney dialysis patients found that
supplementation of 800 IU of natural-source vitamin E for approximately 17 months led to a 70 percent reduction in fatal and nonfatal heart attacks.

Mydlik M, Derzsiova K, Racz O, et al, "Vitamin E as an antioxidant agent in
CAPD patients," International Journal of Artificial Organs, 2002;25:373- 378.

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