Health Benefits of Vitamin E
Reprint of an
from the Article Codex website,
Introduction by Dr. Don Rose,
beneficial health effects have been talked about for years. This article discusses
facts about the vitamin, some of its benefits, and studies that are attempting to
prove these benefits (and/or define how extensive they really are) – especially
in relation to heart health, Alzheimer's and
cancer. --Don Rose
Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant that the body uses to snatch up free radicals.
It is also used in the body to regulate cell metabolism, protect Vitamin C from
oxidizing, acts at an anti clotting agent, and aids in the production of red blood
The FDA recommends a daily value of 22.5IU's of the vitamin and it has been shown
that it is very difficult to get the minimum recommendation into your diet.
One would need to drink half a pint of corn oil to get approximately the daily value.
It is possible though to get enough without resorting to drinking corn oil by eating
a diet rich in dark green veggies and nuts. Many Americans simply don't have the
time to eat a proper diet and don't receive the daily value. This doesn't
necessarily mean that you will develop deficiency symptoms for vitamin E.
The body requires very small amounts to carry on its basic processes and a case
of vitamin E deficiency has never been proven in a normal healthy adult.
If you have other health problems it can potentially lead to a deficiency as a result.
Digestive problems involving the gallbladder, liver, pancreas and intestines may
keep your body from absorbing the fat soluble vitamin. Also preemies or low
birth weight babies can have a deficiency at birth that needs to be treated.
Most of the controversy surrounding vitamin E stems from the other possible health
benefits gained from the vitamin. Some believe that if you take higher doses
of the vitamin you will gain added, shall we say 'special' health benefits, and
others suggest that the same benefits are there with the recommended dosage.
Unfortunately there just haven't been enough clinical trials completed to confirm
or deny all of the suggested benefits. There are three major benefits that
vitamin E has been tested for.
It appears that vitamin E is good for heart health. In a 17 year study 21,000
men reported how many servings of nuts they ate every week. Researchers also
gathered medical history and relevant heart history for each man. At the end
of the study it was found that men with a higher nut intake each week had a 47%
lower risk of dying from heart attack and/or heart disease.
Risk of Alzheimer's also appears to be reduced by a diet containing lots of vitamin
E. Researchers followed the dietary habits of 5,000 people who were 55 or
older for 3 years. At the 6 year follow up 146 of those followed developed
Alzheimer's. It was found that those with diets containing higher amounts
of vitamin E and C had a lower risk of developing the disease.
The use of vitamin E to fight cancer is also being explored by researchers.
There is a current study called the
Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention trial
which is following 35,000 men who are taking a combination of vitamin E and selenium
supplements or placebos to see if there is a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
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Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles
on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.
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