Taking vitamin E supplements doesn't lower a woman's risk of rheumatoid arthritis, according to an analysis of the Women's Health Study.
In this new study, researchers looked at 39,144 middle-aged women who were asked to take 600 IU of vitamin E or a placebo every other day.
New cases of arthritis were recorded and examined for any associations with vitamin E supplementation.
After 10 years, 50 women in the vitamin E group and 56 in the placebo group developed rheumatoid arthritis.
Previous studies have shown increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis in people with low blood levels of antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which causes pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints. Antioxidants are thought to reduce the inflammation that accompanies arthritis.
This current study shows that vitamin E supplementation doesn't affect the development of rheumatoid arthritis, say researchers from Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston.
According to the 2000 Canadian Community Health Survey, two-thirds of those affected by arthritis are women.
For more information about nutrition strategies to prevent diseases that affect mostly women, check out Leslie Beck's Nutrition Guide for Women.
This study was published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research.
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