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Take vitamin E with another fatty food, never by itself!
Research showed that:
  • Vitamin E supplements consumed at the same time as an ordinary (not low-fat) breakfast cereal had inconsistent effects

  • Taking vitamin E supplements alone was generally useless

  • Consuming an ordinary (not low-fat) breakfast cereal fortified with vitamin E was the most effective way of getting the vitamin into the bloodstream. The 30 international units (IU) of vitamin E in the portion used for the research delivered five times as much vitamin E into the participants’ bloodstreams as a 400IU vitamin E supplement taken alone

Professor Maret Traber, one of the study's authors, explained that vitamin E is a fat, and needs to be eaten with other fats in order to be absorbed. Many people take supplements with a low fat breakfast, so benefit little, she noted.

The finding may also explain why past research studies done with a vitamin E supplement have had such varied findings. “The manner in which people took vitamin E supplements and the variation in its bioavailability from person to person have yielded widely inconsistent results about the value of this nutrient in heart disease and other degenerative diseases.”

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(i) For the body to utilise vitamin E properly adequate levels of vitamin C are also needed.

(ii) Foods rich in vitamin E include wheatgerm, soyabean, maize, sunflower and vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, almonds, pulses and tomatoes.


(10250) Leonard,SW et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004;79:86-92


Vitamin E supplements wrongly balanced

Research by Dr. Stephan Christen at the University of California (US)suggested that the beneficial effect of Vitamin E against heart disease and cancer may only occur if people take the two forms (alpha and gamma tocopherolin) in the proportion found naturally in fruit and vegetables - 70% gamma, 30% alpha. Most vitamin E pills contain 80% alpha 20% gamma.

Stephan is now conducting further research to test the hypothesis that taking the two forms in the wrong ratio may actually reinforce the damaging effect of toxic chemicals, such as peroxynite (similar to chemicals found in cigarette smoke).

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(1869) Aisling Irwin. Daily Telegraph