Originally Posted by Mike In NY
John Hopkins University Researcher Edgar R. Miller says that Vitamin E above 400 increases the risk of dying and shortens your life. Dosen't recommend taking Vit E supplements. It's all so very confusing. So many conflicting studies that cause fear and confusion. Maybe we should cease taking Vit E supplements and focus on almonds, spinach and peppers. I'm taking ALIVE but half the recommended dosage which is 100 IU a day. One study says it reduces your risk of bladder cancer and another one says it shortens your life. For years I took Vitamin Shoppe Multi Vitamins for Optimum Health which has 1000 IU's (3333% Daily Value). Who knew back then that this was too much.
There are several issues involved, and it is very confusing. For one thing, the vast
majority of vitamin E research with supplements (like 95%) has used d-Alpha-Tocopherol, which is the most active form of the vitamin. They have not really tested other types of vitamin E supplements, such as natural vitamin E supplements, which have all the tocopherols. I take a natural vitamin E supplement, for example, at 400 IU, but since it is not 400 IU of d-Alpha, it is a lower amount than a 400 IU d-Alpha (I think the d-Alpha in it amounts to 200 IU).
Isn't it strange that all sorts of research shows that natural vitamin E in food benefits health, but the researchers don't test the most natural form of vitamin E we get in supplements, but d-alpha vitamin E? Then they say, "Why don't we get the same good results from supplements that we get from food?" Then they say, "Don't take the supplements because its not the same as getting the vitamin from food"!
Of course, I am not sure that I buy into the dangers of high-dose d-alpha vitamin E supplements at all, since the studies, as far as I know, have not excluded nutty people who take ridiculously high amounts of the vitamin, amounts that no sane person would take; that HAS to distort the results. One well-respected researcher I read carefully analyzed the data and said that in his opinion up to 800 IU was safe. But for all we know, some of these people were taking 4,000 IU, or 10,000 IU.
Why anyone would want to take more than the standard 400 IU, as listed on most high-dose bottles, is beyond me, but I bet a lot of people with cancer, or a family history of cancer, and other very serious problems have done just that in desperation, and it has skewed the results. Naturally, sick people with cancer, or who have a family history of cancer, die more often than other people who don't have cancer, or have such a family history, and they also likely take higher doses of the vitamin. "More can't hurt, right? And I have CANCER." What does it prove to say that some of them died when taking high doses? They already had the disease, or were more likely to get it! I don't know what these stupid studies mean with regard to supplements if the doctors don't strictly control the dosages, and the groups of sick and well people that they are comparing, or use stringent control group methods.
There have been so many studies showing that vitamin E supplements work for all kinds of things, and I am very suspicious of these meta-analysis studies that automatically exclude whole classes of research, e.g., studies of vitamin E in which no one died. Maybe some of the people in those studies in which no one died, did not die because they were taking vitamin E!
I believe that in the SELECT study, which has been going on now for five years or so, and will report in 2013, the vitamin E dosage is 400 IU of d-alpha tocopherol. If the researchers ever thought that amount was even slightly dangerous to the patients, they would halt the study, as happens all the time in studies of drugs. Apparently, so far, people in the study have not been dropping like flies, because the study has not been halted.