More Vitamin E Supplement Controversy

Vitamin E Supplements Benefit Heart Despite Some Recent Reports

As if recent studies on vitamin E have not been confusing enough, the latest study found benefits that were actually downplayed by the researchers and ignored in most news reports.

Julie E. Buring, ScD, of Harvard Medical School and lead investigator in the Women’s Health Study, tracked the health of almost 40,000 women who took either 600 IU of natural vitamin E or placebos for 10 years.

She and her colleagues reported that vitamin E did not reduce the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, or cancer.

They concluded that the “data do not support recommending vitamin E supplementation for cardiovascular disease or cancer prevention among healthy women.”

Despite the negative stated conclusion, careful reading of the study shows that Buring and her colleagues noted that women taking vitamin E did have a 24 percent lower risk of death from cardio-vascular disease. Women age 69 and older had even greater benefits – a 49 percent reduction in cardio-vascular death and a 34 percent lower reduction of heart attack.

The researchers acknowledged that, contrary to some recent reports, they saw no side effects from taking vitamin E supplements.

Reference: Lee IM, Cook NR, Gaziano JM, et al. Vitamin E in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The women’s health study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 2005;294:56-65.

From the September 2005 issue of The Nutrition Reporter.
Reprinted with permission.
Copyright 2005 Jack Challem.




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