It is estimated that over 37 million Americans take vitamin E, but most never question its safety. After all, it's good for the heart, right? As there is conflicting research on this issue, answering this question may prove difficult.

First of all, research done by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine presents quite a different view of this vitamin. In a report presented to the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, they assert that taking megadoses of it increases your risk of dying from all natural causes.

According to lead author and internist Edgar R. Miller III, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine:
"A lot of people take vitamins because they believe it will benefit their health in the long term and prolong life.” He went on to say that use of high-doses of this vitamin did not prolong life, but “was associated with a higher risk of death.”Furthermore, he added:
"If people are taking a multivitamin, they should make sure it contains no more than a low dose of vitamin E.” The researchers claim that an increased risk of death starts when dosages start at 150 IUs and higher.

In fact, 19 studies on this vitamin occurred between 1993 and 2004 involving over 136,000 people. This research confirmed that when taken at doses of 400 IUs, the risk of death from any cause is about 10 percent higher than in those not taking it. But when taken at very high dosages, such as 2000 IUs, that risk increased to over 20 percent.

And yet, in two previous studies, we get a totally different perspective. In these cases, research tells us this vitamin provides protection from death caused by coronary artery disease (CAD).

In the first study, the Nurses' Health Study, researchers concluded that of the 83,234 women participating, those taking vitamin E were at a 40 percent lower risk of developing heart disease than those who didn't take it.

In the second study, the Health Professionals Follow-up study, over 39,000 males were evaluated and researchers found a significant association between high vitamin E consumption, and a low risk of developing heart disease. In other words, they thought there was an inverse correlation between oxidation of LDL cholesterol and heart disease. (oxidation is one of those things that 'pesky' free radicals do)

Plus, there are numerous other studies declaring this antioxidant's effectiveness against diseases. For example, it may prove effective against strokes, cataracts, and diabetes, while boosting immune system response, and preventing blood clots from forming.

Indeed, as you recover from your research-induced haze, you may be asking yourself one basic question: “Is it safe for me to take?”

Basically, at doses lower than 150 IUs, it appears to be safe to take.

But, still, you wonder if you are making the right, safe decision.

Moreover, it becomes increasingly difficult determining what new, cutting-edge research on this topic is credible and what is not.

In my opinion, Mark Twain got it right when he said,“Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.”Oh, if only Mr. Twain were here to help us make sense of these 'pliable' statistics.

Author's Bio: 

Kearney Adams is a writer and webmaster for a site that focuses on home remedies. Our topics ranged from discussions on herbs, vitamins, and natural treatments for a number of conditions. Check out our web site at:
Home Remedies Digest

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Vitamin E May Increase Your Risk Of Death