View Full Version : To E or Not to E....

01-18-05, 02:25 PM
November 11, 2004
To E or Not to E....

People take Vitamin E -- most often in doses of 400 I.U. a day -- for a number of reasons. It is believed that Vitamin E can help ease hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, prevent colds, maintain respiratory health, and prevent heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and other illnesses also often take Vitamin E because it is believed to boost immune function and ease muscle pain.

That wisdom is now being called into question ... within reason. According to a new study by associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University Dr. Edgar R. Miller III in which researchers compared the results from 19 clinical trials involving 135,967 participants, it was concluded that there were 39 additional deaths per 10,000 people in those who were taking dose of Vitamin E that exceeded 400 international units a day.

According to an article in The New York Times, Dr. Miller presented the data at a recent meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.

Not everyone agrees that the study is necessarily cause for alarm, however. According to The New York Times article, Harvard statistician Dr. James Robins says the risk suggested by the study is "hardly definitive evidence." In fact, one physician interviewed for the article -- Dr. John Hathcock, the vice president for scientific and nutritional affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition -- said that he has been taking 400 I.U. of Vitamin E daily and has no intention to stop.


Large Doses of Vitamin E May Be Harmful, Study Says, New York Times article

The Annals of Internal Medicine will publish the findings from Dr. Miller's study in their January 4, 2005 edition.