Vitamin E Fails to Prevent Disease

by Diane Lofshult on Jul 01, 2005

Past experimental and epidemiological studies have suggested that vitamin E supplementation may prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, most of these studies have focused on the short-term effects of taking vitamin E. Now, the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study have provided a sense of the long-term outcomes of supplementation.

Reporting in the March 16 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (2005; 239 [11], 1338–47), scientists described the effects of a daily dose of 400 International Units of vitamin E or a placebo. The participants, who were studied over an average of 7 years, included men and women over age 55 who had either vascular disease or diabetes mellitus.

Not only didn’t members of the vitamin E group fare better than those who received the placebo, but they were actually at greater risk in some cases. “In patients with vascular disease or diabetes mellitus, long-term vitamin E supplementation does not prevent cancer or major cardiovascular events and may increase the risk for heart failure,” the researchers concluded.

Fitness Journal, Volume 2, Issue 7

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About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at