There’s a new study out that says that taking larger doses of Vitamin E can possibly be bad for you. Here is our take on the study…
THAT’S NOT VITAMIN E!!- First off, Vitamin E is a very large molecule containing lots of different types of tocopherols and linked with Selenium. What this study called Vitamin E was really just one little bitty component of it called alpha-tocopherol.
In addition, there are natural forms of alpha-tocopherol, and then there are synthetic, chemical, artificial forms of it. In this study, they used the artificial form. In fact, they used an artificial form of alpha-tocopherol we had never really heard of before – they used all-rac-?-tocopheryl acetate. When we tried to look into it, mostly all we found was its use in animal research.
Science is very specific. If you read this study, all you can say is that artificial alpha-tocopherol, when taken in high doses, may be bad for you. Specifically, artificial alpha-tocopherol in doses larger than 400 IUs per day may increase your risk of prostate problems over time (if you’re male of course). However, this study proves nothing about natural forms of Vitamin E.
THAT’S NOT VITAMIN A!!-This same phenomenon happened when researchers studied the effects of Vitamin A intake on smokers in Finland. They thought that taking an antioxidant like Vitamin A might help ward off lung cancer in smokers. The opposite actually happened – the smokers taking Vitamin A had more lung cancer. Let me rephrase that – the smokers taking artificial vitamin A (a man-made chemical) had more lung cancer.
It was not Vitamin A that increase lung cancer risk, it was the man-made chemical version of Vitamin A that caused the problem. And not even the whole Vitamin A molecule, just the antioxidant part, the fraction the scientists deemed important. Mother Nature, on the other hand, evidently feels differently. To her, the entire Vitamin A molecule is important, the antioxidant part along with all the other parts. It all seems to work together.
Common sense tells us that Vitamins are in our foods for a reason – they are good for us. When we see a study that says that Vitamins are bad for us, we need to understand exactly what that study is saying. The Vitamin A study mentioned above, and the Vitamin E study before it, do not tell us that Vitamins A and E are bad for us. The studies tell us that chemicals resembling parts of the overall Vitamin A and E complex taken in high doses are bad for us.
NOTHING NEW- These types of misleading studies have been known about in natural circles for some time. For some reason, the main stream researchers do not seem to be catching on. It may be because they are so used to testing medications, which are artificially made, that they just assume that the chemical version of a Vitamin is as good or better than the real thing.
It could also be that the Pharmaceutical Companies are trying to get control of the vitamin industry. They’ve already done it with Niacin and Fish Oil. The medical community called us quacks for recommending Niacin and Fish Oil for cholesterol and triglyceride problems. Now they are dishing it out themselves in droves, but they are prescribing very expensive pharmaceutical versions of these natural substances. By claiming vitamins unsafe, the Pharmaceutical Industry may simply be trying to get vitamins by prescription only and made by pharmaceutical companies only.
Whole food vitamins seem to be best. Natural vitamins that are not the whole complex are second best. The worst are artificial versions of fractionated vitamins, especially of the fat soluble Vitamins like Vitamins A, D, E and K. The water soluble vitamins don’t seem to be as toxic artificially, but I’d still go with the natural versions when possible.
Here’s a link to the abstract of the actual study, if you’d like to read for yourself: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/306/14/1549.abstract
Hope this helps,
Dr Matt and Dr Robin
This week’s bit of Useless Information:
In a survey conducted by the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88 percent of Americans said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds, which means some 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2007.
Note: Our office will be closed for Thanksgiving next Thursday and Friday. We wish you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
Everything we say in these posts are expressly our opinions and only our opinions. We are reporting what we see in our clinic and what we live by. As the FDA is not particularly fond of natural medicine, we must, by law, tell you that neither this nor any of our emails or treatments in the clinic are allowed to be or intended to be medical advice and should not be taken as such. By law, these emails can only be considered informational only, and none of the nutrients or treatments discussed here are considered legally viable options for diagnosing, treating, or curing any disease or disorder.