vitamin-e.jpg According to studies, vitamin E might not be as beneficial for health as assumed. This is contrary to popular notions that vitamin E, which is packed with anti-oxidant properties, is an anti aging agent. Many studies conducted in recent years have come to the same conclusion that if this vitamin is taken in excessive quantities, it can be harmful for health.

Myths about vitamin E
a. It is usually thought that vitamin E, if taken in doses higher than recommended, could help in preventing heart disease, stroke, common cancers, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, respiratory tract infections and many other serious and fatal health problems..
b. It is thought that it protects cells from free radicals.

Highlights of the studies
a. In a November 2004 warning from the American Heart Association, it was stated that while small amounts of vitamin E is not harmful, taking 400 International Units a day or more can affect health.
b. According to a 2001 University of Pennsylvania study, this vitamin has no special benefits for heart patients.

c. Another 2001 The Women’s Health Study found that women who are 45 years or age and older derived no overall benefit after taking 600 IUs of vitamin E every other day for major cardiovascular events or total mortality.
d. In the same study it was noticed that there was a 24 per cent reduction in cardiovascular deaths.
e. A fresh report of Physicians’ Health Study, conducted on men, released in November 2008 said that incidence of major cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular deaths did not change in men aged 50 years.
f. The Heart Outcomes trials also found no differences after the use of vitamin E in cancer incidence or deaths during a 7-year follow-up.
g. Similarly, the Women’s Health Study also found no significant effect of the vitamin on total cancer incidence.
h. The Select trial (an acronym for the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial) studied 35,533 men from 427 locations in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico for more than five years and found that no benefit was visible from th use of vitamin E but there was a non-significant increased risk of prostate cancer in the group taking 400 IUs a day of vitamin E.
i. Another study, a continuation of the Physicians’ Health Study, found that among male doctors who took 400 IUs of vitamin E every other day and 500mg of vitamin C every day, there was no decreased risk of developing prostate cancer or cancer in general.
j. A 2007 study, financed by the National Cancer Institute, found that smokers who took vitamin E supplements had a somewhat higher risk of developing the disease.
k. An independent review of studies conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2008 found no reliable evidence for the ability of vitamin E to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.