Vitamin E critical during first 1,000 days

Vitamin E critical during first 1,000 days

A new review of research finds that vitamin E is particularly critical during a child’s first 1,000 days, during a mother’s pregnancy and during a person’s later years.

Getting enough vitamin E is critical for very young children, old people and women who are or may become pregnant, according to a new review of multiple studies.

The study, published in Advances in Nutrition, comes in the wake of a year “when critics have raised alarms about excessive vitamin E intake while in fact the diet of most people is insufficient,” says the study’s author, Maret Traber, a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute and national expert on vitamin E in a release from the university. The study was noted on

"It's important all of your life, but the most compelling evidence about vitamin E is about a 1000-day window that begins at conception," Traber said. "Vitamin E is critical to neurologic and brain development that can only happen during that period. It's not something you can make up for later."

In her review, she outlined recent findings about the micronutrient. One was the importance of vitamin E during fetal development. Inadequate vitamin E was found to be associated with increased infection, anemia, stunted growth and poor outcomes during pregnancy for both the infant and mother. Another was the correlation between adequate vitamin E intake and dementia later in life.

"Many people believe that vitamin E deficiency never happens," Traber said. "That isn't true. It happens with an alarming frequency both in the United States and around the world. But some of the results of inadequate intake are less obvious, such as its impact on things like nervous system and brain development, or general resistance to infection."

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