Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Doses Of Vitamin E Supplements Do More Harm Than Good

Date:
November 18, 2004
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Daily vitamin E doses of 400 international units (IU) or more can increase the risk of death and should be avoided, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2004.

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 10 – Daily vitamin E doses of 400 international units (IU) or more can increase the risk of death and should be avoided, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2004.

The study is being simultaneously released on the website of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In animal and observational studies, vitamin E supplementation was shown to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, other studies suggested that high doses could be harmful.

To determine if there is a "dose response," researchers examined different doses of vitamin E supplements and risk of death from any cause. They studied death rates in published clinical trials comparing vitamin E supplementation to placebo and included findings from 14 studies, from 1993 to 2004. Doses ranged from 15 to 2000 IU/day, and average intake was about 400 IU a day.

"Increasing doses of vitamin E were linked to an increase in death," said lead author Edgar R. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

According to the analysis, there is no increased risk of death with a dose of 200 IU per day or less, and there may even be some benefit. However, an increased risk was found at amounts above 200 IU per day and significant risk of death was found starting at 400 IU a day. Those who take greater than 400 IU of vitamin E a day are about 10 percent more likely to die than those who do not, researchers said. "Many people who take vitamin E supplements take between 400 and 800 IU in a single capsule," said Miller.

The confusion for many, said Miller, is that some doctors have recommended vitamin E supplementation based on studies suggesting that it is beneficial for specific illnesses. One study in people with a history of prior heart attack showed that vitamin E use correlated with a lower risk of having a second event. In another trial, patients with end-stage kidney disease seemed to benefit. However, in both of these studies (in fact, in seven of the eight high-dose vitamin E trials in this analysis) the patients on vitamin E supplementation were more likely to die than those in the placebo group.

"Typically, we get about 6-10 IU per day of vitamin E in our diets. Vegetable oils, nuts and green leafy vegetables are the main dietary sources of vitamin E. Supplementation can increase intake by 100-fold," said Miller.

Researchers said the current U.S. dietary guidelines do not recommend vitamin E supplementation, but indicate that the upper tolerable limit of intake is 1000 IU per day.

These findings parallel the findings of beta carotene supplementation trials. Two major studies showed that beta carotene supplementation results in an increased risk for lung cancer and death. And, as a result, you will never see beta carotene supplements recommended again," he said.

There is room for more research, however, on the effects of 200 IU or less per day of vitamin E and how low doses taken in combination with other vitamins might positively affect death rates, he said.

"The big questions that need to be answered are: What is the dose? And how low a dose – in what combination – would be most useful?" Miller said.

Co authors are Roberto Pastor-Barriuso Ph.D.; Darshan Dalal M.D., M.P.H.; Rudolph A. Riemersma Ph.D.; Lawrence J. Appel M.D., M.P.H. and Eliseo Guallar M.D., Dr.P.H.

###

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are published in the American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The American Heart Association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "High Doses Of Vitamin E Supplements Do More Harm Than Good." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041116233312.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2004, November 18). High Doses Of Vitamin E Supplements Do More Harm Than Good. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041116233312.htm
American Heart Association. "High Doses Of Vitamin E Supplements Do More Harm Than Good." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041116233312.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins