News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinenature-healthhealthobesity — Viewing Item

Vitamin e linked to higher death rates

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Vitamin E Linked to Higher Death Rates
By Janice Billingsley
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDayNews) -- High doses of the antioxidant vitamin E could increase the risk of death, Johns Hopkins researchers have found.

By re-analyzing the data from 19 vitamin E studies over the past decade, the scientists found that a daily dose of 400 IUs or more was linked to a 6 percent increased risk of death.

"People take significant amounts of vitamin E because they have a perception that it will provide some health benefit and that this will help them live longer, but just the opposite could be the case," said study author Dr. Edgar R. Miller, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

The finding was presented Wednesday at the American Heart Association's scientific sessions in New Orleans, and will be simultaneously published online in the Nov. 10 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Miller said this study is similar to recent findings that high doses of another antioxidant, beta carotene -- which has been touted as a cancer preventive -- can do more harm than good.

"This is not new. In several large studies, high doses of beta carotene have been shown to increase the risk for lung cancer and death compared to risk in those who took placeboes, but vitamin E has been given a pass," Miller said.

The Hopkins' researchers noted one caveat: Most of the patients in the trials were over age 60 and were not well, so the study's relevance for younger, healthy adults might be limited.

Dean Jones, a professor of medicine at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, said the new study warrants reconsideration of the amount of vitamin E people should take.

"When I lecture on this, which I have done for years, the textbook standard is that vitamin E is relatively non-toxic in excess, and I have never distinguished between the amounts of 200 IUs, 400 IUs or even 800 IUs, but in the future I will," he said.

However, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing the dietary-supplement industry, was sharply critical of the new study.

The study "inappropriately tries to draw conclusions for the whole population based on a combination of studies of people who were already at grave risk with existing diseases, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and kidney failure," the council said in a prepared statement.

John Hathcock, the council's vice president for scientific and international affairs, added, "In reviewing the totality of evidence on vitamin E, including all clinical trial data and several large observational studies, CRN agrees with the Institute of Medicine in finding vitamin E supplements safe at levels of at least up to 1,000 mg (1,600 IU) for normal, healthy adults. This meta-analysis provides no convincing evidence to the contrary."

Hopkins' Miller said the reason for the increase in mortality risk needs to be studied further. But it could be that high doses of vitamin E disrupt the natural balance of antioxidants in the body and increase vulnerability to oxidative damage. Previous research has suggested that antioxidants may protect cells from damage to their DNA caused by oxygen molecules called free radicals. Another possibility is that the vitamin's anticoagulant properties interfere with clotting mechanisms, he said.

For the study, Miller and his colleagues used a process called meta-analysis to reevaluate the data from the 19 studies, which involved 135,967 people, sorting information by whether they were taking high or low doses of the vitamin. Nine of the trials tested vitamin E alone and 10 tested it in combination with other vitamins.

Eleven trials involved intake of 400 IUs or more daily, and nine of those trials showed a 6 percent higher death rate among those who took the vitamin, compared to those who took placeboes. The other eight trials involved low-dose use, 200 IUs daily or less, and it was unclear whether the low doses increased a person's risk of death, Miller said.

Jones explained that the antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene are different from other vitamins. Most vitamins have specific recommended doses based on the function they perform in the body. For instance, the B vitamin folate interacts with certain proteins in the body, so it's known how much folate is needed to saturate these proteins, he said.

But the antioxidant vitamins react chemically to the free radicals in the body. Because doctors can't accurately measure free radicals, a recommended dose of antioxidants is difficult.

Further, while vitamin C is water-soluble and any excess leaves the body via urine, beta carotene and vitamin E are both fat-soluble so any excess accumulates in the fat cell membranes, Jones said.

There is no recommended dose for vitamin E, although current guidelines set a tolerable limit of up to 1,500 IUs per day. On average, Miller said, daily intake of vitamin E through foods is 10 IUs, and multivitamin pills usually contain 30 to 60 IUs of vitamin E. Vitamin E is found in nuts, leafy green vegetables and wheat germ oil.

More information

The National Institutes of Health offers a fact sheet on vitamin E.

2 million kids at risk for diabetes from obesity { November 7 2005 }
31 states record increases in adult obesity { July 2006 }
90 percent of american men will be obese
Ads target kids for junk food
Air conditioning making us fat
Americans fat
Artificial sweeteners cause weight gain { January 2008 }
Artificial sweeteners cause weight gain
Atkins diet clogged mans arteries { May 27 2004 }
Atkins diet studies { May 22 2003 }
Bill blocks obesity lawsuits
Brit prince warns not to get fat like americans { January 27 2006 }
Britain teens face obesity infertility { December 9 2003 }
British children choking on their own fat
Changing human shape { September 9 2002 }
Child obesity lowers life expectancy below adults { April 27 2005 }
Coke pepsi risks diabetes weight gain { August 25 2004 }
Companies make food addictive
Early years vital for curbing obesity { May 20 2005 }
Eating fat not fattening { September 22 2003 }
Extreme obesity ballooning in adults
Fat americans weighing airline profits down
Fat at 20 cuts 20
Fat at 40 shortens life
Fat epidemic 6 year olds
Fat kids prone to future health problems
Fat teens get stomach operation { August 5 2003 }
Fat tissue increases risk of cancer { October 23 2006 }
Fatter cats dogs are sizeable problem
Fitness more important than weight loss { September 8 2004 }
Food pyramind might change shape
Food subsudies make a population fat { April 22 2007 }
French eat less
Girls who feel unpopular may gain weight { January 7 2008 }
Heart disease not genetic
High fat atkins diet confounds experts { May 22 2003 }
Icecream vendor tells fat kid he eats too much { May 11 2005 }
Judge throws out obesity suit { September 4 2003 }
Junk food adverts banished during UK children television
Kids suffer blood pressure rises { May 4 2004 }
Live longer by eating less study suggests
Living in cities makes you skinny { February 20 2007 }
Mcdonalds ceo dies of health problems
Mcdonalds fat { April 19 2002 }
Medicare to cover obesity { July 16 2004 }
More kids on cholesterol drugs { October 29 2007 }
New us diet less calories { September 10 2003 }
Nfl slim chance fighting obesity
Obese kids unhappy as with cancer
Obese people face higher insurance { April 7 2004 }
Obesity an epidemic in us
Obesity biggest risk to kids says poll { March 31 2004 }
Obesity causes brain atrophy in women
Obesity close to smoking as leading cause of death { March 11 2004 }
Obesity costs us 75b yearly { January 22 2004 }
Obesity costs us 93b year { May 14 2003 }
Obesity down in sugar free schools
Obesity in kids will save social security
Obesity increases death of breast cancer
Obesity linked cancer
Obesity linked with colon cancer
Obesity may trigger asthma { July 14 2006 }
Obesity passing tobacco as leading preventable cause of death
Obesity policy bill { August 10 2003 }
Obesity rate is nearly 25 percent { August 24 2005 }
Obesity top health problem in us { October 28 2003 }
One in four britons are fat
Over eating more common than under eating
Overweight higher risk alzheimers { July 14 2003 }
Parents urged to fight childhood obesity { July 29 2004 }
People arent trying lose weight
Risk syndrome overweight teens { August 12 2003 }
Small town fights child obesity with diet and excercise { May 16 2007 }
Soda a day boosts weight gain { August 25 2004 }
Soda consumption linked to childhood obesity
Starve yourself to live longer { April 20 2004 }
Strict parenting leads link to fat kids { June 5 2006 }
Study links sprawl to fat { August 29 2003 }
Television for kids encourages over eating { March 29 2007 }
Temper tantrum kids have obesity problems { July 9 2004 }
Thin people may have unhealthy internal fat { May 10 2007 }
Toboacco company defends obesity { April 27 2005 }
Truth about fat cats dogs
Vitamin e linked to higher death rates
WHO anti obesity stretegy attacked by sugar industry { May 20 2004 }

Files Listed: 85


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple