(fwd) Fwd: Vitamin E

Doug Skrecky (oberon@vcn.bc.ca)
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 17:47:28 -0800 (PST)

From: dcox@ix.netcom.com (Danny Cox)
Newsgroups: misc.health.alternative,sci.life-extension

Vitamin E: Just What The Doctor Ordered The Key Ingredient To Fight Disease, Stay Healthy Author: Glenn Garelik

The good news on vitamin E just keeps getting better.

Studies have shown it reduces the risk of developing heart disease and various types of cancer. And it helps minimize skin damage like scarring, sunburn and liver spots.

It also may diminish memory loss due to aging, while improving athletic and sexual performance, as well as lung capacity.

Recent research has found that vitamin E may also help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and AIDS. Not bad for a substance that wasn't even deemed essential until '66.

A recent report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that taking as little as 75 international units a day reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer in male smokers between 50 and 69 years of age by 32%. It reduced the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 41%.

Most commercial supplements contain 400 IUs of vitamin E.

The latest issue of the journal Ophthalmology reported that among 750 people with cataracts, those who took vitamin E cut the chance the condition would worsen by half.

Vitamin E seems to boost the immune system, researchers say. A study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that healthy older adults who took 300 IUs a day for four months had a two-thirds boost in immune function.

''We're seeing a beneficial effect of vitamin E
across a spectrum of diseases,'' said Dr. Donald Hensrud, a nutrition and preventive medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The vitamin also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from attack by ''free radicals,'' an unstable form of oxygen that can damage vital cell structures. And it interferes with one of the processes that turns cholesterol into artery- narrowing plaque. It also seems to counter blood clotting, which can jam the vessel's narrowed bore.

The first large-scale studies of vitamin E's impact on coronary artery disease took place in the '80s. People who took vitamin E, on average, had a one-third lower risk of developing the problem than those who didn't.

Data regarding fatalities are more striking. People with atherosclerosis who took 400 or 800 IUs of vitamin E daily had 75% fewer deadly heart attacks than those who did not, the '96 Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study reported. A decade-long study by the National Institute on Aging found that among 11,000 subjects over the age of 67, those who took vitamin E cut by a third their risk of dying from any cause.

Years of large-scale studies around the U.S. also indicate that taking vitamin E lowers the risk of developing cancer of the colon, breast, cervix and other areas.

Consumers have been paying attention. According to Kline & Co., a marketing firm for drug and chemical companies, sales of vitamin E supplements in the U.S. have grown since '90 at an average of 15% a year.

     How can you get vitamin E? 
     Low-fat dietary sources of vitamin E are pretty 
much limited to whole grains, wheat germ and fortified cereals. Most foods highest in
vitamin E are also high in fat, such as oils, seeds and nuts. And with oils, cooking breaks down the content of the vitamin, reducing its potency and, as a result, the benefits of the vitamin.

''Generally, I recommend getting vitamins and
nutrients through the diet,'' Hensrud said. ''But in the case of vitamin E, it's difficult to get the amount believed to be beneficial through diet alone.''

The solution is supplements, which can be organic or synthetic. The organic type usually comes from soybean or wheat germ oil and carries the prefix ''d'' in the list of ingredients. The synthetic has ''dl.''

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