Pharmavite Calls for Balanced Reporting on Vitamin E Analysis; Leading Manufacturer States Study Conclusions Are Unwarranted and Misleading for Healthy Individuals

NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Nov 11, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made(R) vitamins and supplements said the conclusions drawn by Johns Hopkins researchers on vitamin E use and increased mortality risk are misleading because the researchers only looked at a select, limited group of studies. The researcher's conclusions appeared in the November 10 online edition of The Annals of Internal Medicine.

"This analysis focused on a carefully selected group of earlier published clinical studies whose populations suffered from a number of grave diseases where there was a very high risk of mortality to begin with, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, cardiovascular disease and more," said Dave Madsen, Ph.D., Pharmavite director of scientific affairs. "The researchers chose not to review long term studies of the general population which demonstrate vitamin E's positive health benefits, including the Nurses Study, the Finnish Study and the Iowa Women's Study."(1)(2)(3)

For example, a study of approximately 90,000 nurses suggested that the incidence of heart disease was 30 to 40 percent lower among nurses with the highest intake of vitamin E from diet and supplements. Researchers found that the apparent benefit was mainly associated with intake of vitamin E from dietary supplements. High vitamin E intake from food was not associated with significant cardiac risk reduction.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant that has been touted for its numerous health benefits, including a study by Johns Hopkins researchers published in the Annals of Neurology showing that 400 IUs of vitamin E, taken in concert with 500 mg of vitamin C, reduced the risk of Alzheimer's by 60 percent.(4)

"There is a great body of evidence documenting the proven health benefits of Vitamin E. People who want to maintain good health should consume 100 to 400 IUs of vitamin E every day, in addition to maintaining a healthy diet," says Carroll Reider, M.S., R.D., Pharmavite director of consumer education.

Madsen reported other weaknesses in the analysis including the fact that only nine of the studies reviewed had people taking vitamin E alone, and that 18 of the 19 studies analyzed had no statistically significant increase in mortality. Further, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has set the upper tolerable intake level for vitamin E at 1,000 mg or 1,600 IUs per day.

Madsen said, "The IOM defines upper limit as 'the maximum intake of a nutrient that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects in almost all healthy individuals in the general population.' It will take more than one skewed analysis of pre-existing studies to refute this long-standing guideline.

"The bottom line: Overwhelming evidence supports that vitamin E is safe when taken as recommended and has proven health benefits for healthy people."

About Pharmavite LLC

For more than 30 years, Pharmavite has earned and maintained the trust of pharmacists, consumers, and retailers by manufacturing high-quality vitamins, minerals, herbs and other dietary supplements that are safe, effective and science-based. An industry leader, Pharmavite adheres to manufacturing standards recommended by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a not-for-profit organization that has set pharmaceutical and dietary supplement quality standards since 1820. In addition, Pharmavite participates in USP's Verification Program for dietary supplements.

The dietary supplement industry is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as by government agencies in each of the 50 states.

(1) Stampfer MJ, Hennekens CH, Manson JE, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary disease in women. N Engl J Med 1993;328:1444-9.

(2) Knekt P, Reunanen A, Jarvinen R, Seppanen R, Heliovaara M, Aromaa A. Antioxidant vitamin intake and coronary mortality in a longitudinal population study. Am J Epidemiol 1994;139:1180-9.

(3) Bostick RM, Potter JD, McKenzie DR, Sellers TA, Kushi LH, Steinmetz KA, Folsom AR. Reduced risk of colon cancer with high intakes of vitamin E: The Iowa Women's Health Study. Cancer Res 1993;15:4230-17

(4) Zandi, P. Archives of Neurology, January 2004; vol 61: pp 82-88.

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