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E’ in Vitamin E Stands for Everything

In yet another study examining the benefits of vitamin E supplementation, researchers have proclaimed that routine vitamin E use may have a beneficial effect on the hearts of people with type 1 diabetes. They add that vitamin E should be considered a life-long part of a type 1’s vitamin regimen.

In a study published in the November 2000 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, patients who took moderately high doses of vitamin E were less likely to have oxidative changes in LDL (”bad”) cholesterol than patients who took a placebo.

When LDL cholesterol is oxidized, or modified, it is more likely to deposit in arteries and lead to heart disease. Because people with type 1 have high blood-sugar episodes, they are at greater risk for the oxidation of LDL.

Wendy Engelen and colleagues at the University of Antwerp in Belgium gave 22 patients 168 milligrams (250 International Units) of vitamin E three times a day for one year. Another group of 22 patients took a placebo pill for six months and then the same amount of vitamin E for six months.

Three months after taking the vitamins, blood samples from patients contained LDL that was less susceptible to oxidation than those from patients not taking the vitamins. The vitamins, however, did not make any other favorable changes, such as lowering blood sugar or modifying cholesterol.

Amounts of vitamin E in the blood rose two to four times three months after patients began taking vitamin E, and then remained stable. Vitamin E levels returned to normal three months after patients stopped taking supplements.

.The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin E is 10 milligrams or (15 International Units). The researchers, however, say the moderately high levels used for this the study are “likely to be safe.”

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