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Feature Articles
 Best of the Low Carb Blogs
 Resolutions You Can Keep
 Cooking Low Carb Part One
 Cooking Low Carb Part Two
 Hot & Quick: Breakfast
 Saccharin: The Sweet Truth
 New Year's Quotes
 Quashing the Weather Excuse
 Truth About Vitamin E
 Want to Lose the Fat?



  MacNut Oil


                   The Truth About Vitamin E by Jonny Bowden, M.A., C.N.S.

Question: "I've had your book since 4/04. I have been following the supplement suggestions. I just heard today on KNX 1070 radio that taking 200 or more units of Vitamin E can actually shorten your life. It was reported from some study that I don't remember the name of. I just wanted to know if you had heard of this new study and your opinion."

Answer: Read my lips: The study is bogus. It is, in the popular vernacular, "junk science."

Here's why:

The study itself was actually not an experiment, but what is called a "meta-analysis." This means they take a number of studies and look at the combined results of all of them and try to make some general conclusions about trends. These trends are called coorelations. A correlation means that things are found together. There is for example, a correlation between Republican presidents and the cicada invasion that comes every 17 years. There is a positive correlation between the number of DVD players purchased and the amount of heart disease in a given decade. There is a positive correlation between sugar consumption and television sets. Diabetes went up during the 8 years of the Clinton administration.

Are you getting my drift? Correlation does not mean cause. It means things are found in the same place. Often they are found together for entirely coincidental reasons — i.e. storm windows don't cause snow, but you find storm windows in areas where there's a lot of wind. Fat doesn't cause heart disease but you find fat in the diets of lots of people who don't exercise, eat tons of processed food, are exposed to carcinogens and don't eat fiber or vegetables.

Back to Vitamin E.

In this meta-analysis, the researchers took 19 different studies that looked at people taking vitamin supplements.

In many of the studies, the subjects were very sick and tended to be elderly. Many had serious conditions — heart, stroke, etc, and most were older. These people are often most likely to be trying any and all remedies for their often terminal conditions, and were most likely to be taking high dosages of any vitamin they thought might be helpful, including, but not limited to Vitamin E. Most were taking multiple preparations, making it impossible to know what was responsible for any results.

Furthermore, the 19 studies involved dosages from 19 IU's of Vitamin E to 2000 units. Most of the subjects were not just taking Vitamin E alone, but in combination with all other sorts of things (including meds). And, the study did not distinguish between the 8 different compounds found in Vitamin E (for example gamma tocopherol, thought to be the most important, and alpha tocopherol, thought to be the most common but least effective, etc.) And — probably most important of all — the study did not distinguish between artificial Vitamin E (dl-alpha-topcopherol) and real, natural Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), which behaves entirely differently in the body, and is far better.

So what did these pinheads conclude? That there was a correlation between those taking a higher dose of Vitamin E and a slightly, statistically insignificant rate of death. (They might have also pointed out that there was a correlation between white hair and a slightly increased risk of death, but they didn't.)

Point is this: There are over 12,000 studies showing the enormous benefits of Vitamin E, especially when combined with other antioxidants. It has been used to delay symptoms of Alzheimers, is related to improved cardiovascular heatlh, better blood sugar control, and has demonstrated anti-tumerogenic (anti-cancer) properties. If you doubt this, go to the National Insitute of Medicine library ( and put in "Vitamin E."

Happy reading. You'll be there for days.

I will continue to take my daily 500 units of Vitamin E (I use the Gamma-E formula sold on my store, but there are other good ones as well.) I wouldn't be without it.

In my opinion, this is just another example of the insidious campaign of big pharma to plant doubts and uncertainties in the minds of an unsuspecting public about the enromous health benefits of natural medicine.

Don't believe them.

Remember, these are the guys who told you Vioox and Baycor were perfectly safe but that all those "natural" things like chondrotrin sulphate were "unproven."

Consider the source.

I'm sticking with my E.

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Copyright © January 2006  Jonny Bowden and Low Carb Luxury



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