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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 11:05 am 
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Location: Kuala Lumpur


Vitamin E May Raise Death Risk
------------------------------

Analysis finds high doses boost mortality rates

By ROB STEIN
Washington Post

WASHINGTON - High doses of vitamin E, which millions
of people take to protect themselves against heart attacks, Alzheimer's
disease and other ailments, appear to increase the overall risk of
dying, researchers reported.

A new analysis of data from 19 studies involving nearly 136,000 people
found that beginning with the typical amount in a single vitamin E
supplement capsule, the risk of death from all causes increased as the
dose of vitamin E rose.

Other studies have suggested that Vitamin E might boost the risk of
heart attacks and strokes, perhaps by affecting blood clotting or
blocking the beneficial effects of other nutrients.

Whatever the mechanism, the findings indicate that no one should take
high doses of vitamin E regularly and that guidelines for what is
considered a safe maximum daily intake should be lower, the researchers
said in a study presented at an American Heart Association meeting in
New Orleans.

"A lot of people take vitamins because they believe it will benefit
their health in the long term and prolong life," said Edgar R. Miller
III, an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine who led the research. "But our study shows that use
of high-dose vitamin E supplements certainly did not prolong life but
was associated with a higher risk of death."

The analysis is the latest in a series of recent findings undermining
the theory that "antioxidant" substances may provide powerful
protection against a host of illnesses. Evidence had suggested that
vitamins and other compounds in many foods might reduce the risk of
heart disease, cancer and other illnesses by preventing unstable oxygen
molecules known as free radicals from damaging DNA.

In 2003, Americans spent $710 million on vitamin E, making it second
only to vitamin C in popularity, according to the Nutrition Business
Journal, which tracks industry trends.

But when researchers have attempted to give antioxidants to prevent
disease, the results largely have been disappointing, and sometimes
alarming. Beta carotene, for example, was found to increase rather than
decrease the risk of lung cancer.

The latest study suggests that may be true for vitamin E as well,
experts said.

"This just shows us once again that very high level of individual
nutrients can have adverse effects," said Alice Lichtenstein, a
professor of nutrition at Tufts University who chairs the nutrition
committee of the American Heart Association, which in August
recommended against antioxidant supplements to cut heart disease risk.

Other researchers, however, questioned the findings, saying the new
analysis was flawed.

While there is only weak evidence that antioxidants reduce the risk of
cancer, there is strong evidence vitamins E and C reduce the risk of
heart and kidney disease, said Ishwarlal Jialal, a researcher at the
University of California-Davis.

"Vitamin E is clearly an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent,
and it's been shown in some studies to reduce heart disease either
alone or in combination with vitamin C," Jialal said.

The latest study, however, found that the overall death rate appeared
to increase at a dose of 400 international units per day, Miller and
his colleagues report in the January issue of the Annals of Internal
Medicine.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 14, 2006 11:30 am
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Location: Kuala Lumpur
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