Vitamin E may do more harm than good in some people

December 31, 2009 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Vitamin E may do more harm than good in some people

Study findings from researchers at Tel Aviv University are calling into question the safety of vitamin E supplements, after finding that high doses of the vitamin may do more harm than good in some people.

After completing one of the most comprehensive and accurate studies on clinical data on vitamin E and heart disease, researchers found that some people may be harmed by high doses of the vitamin, while others may benefit.   Researchers examined data from more than 300,000 people in the U.S, Europe and Israel and assessed the link between vitamin E and quality-adjusted-life-years (QALY), a standard parameter often used to assess the effect of a medical intervention.

Researchers found people taking a vitamin E supplement had an average QALY that was less than that of people not taking a supplement. 

The findings are preliminary, but suggest that high dose vitamin E supplements may not be safe for everyone.  Researchers are now investigating the chemical mechanism of antioxidants, including vitamin E to better understand how they work, and who should take them.

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