You may want to reconsider keeping those vitamin e supplements sitting in your drug cabinet. There have been numerous health claims about vitamin e over the years, and most of them Vitamin E(99670)Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8047705@N02/5481406508/sizes/m/in/photostream/are unsubstantiated. However, there is unfortunately evidence that vitamin e could have some very nasty effects indeed.While it is true that vitamin e acts as an antioxidant, this does not necessarily mean that is entirely good to down capsules of it. Particularly not in larger doses over extended periods of time as vitamin e is fat-soluble and can build up in the body.

Vitamin e supplementation has been positively correlated with increasing all-cause mortality.[3920] Meaning, as you increase the dose, your chances of dying on any given day rise. To complement this already bad news, studies show consuming vitamin e supplements increases the risk of contracting lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. 

Applying vitamin e topically is not beneficial for the skin, as how it is often touted by lotion companies and those seeking 'natural' treatment for skin disorders. In fact, topical vitamin e application has shown no benefits the cosmetic appearance of the skin, and increases your risk of developing dermatitis because it actually causes skin damage[3921]

This does not mean you want to eliminate it from the diet. These increased risks are associated with vitamin e supplements alone, not with actual dietary intake. As always you should look to fulfill your nutritional needs through your diet first, supplements second. Foods rich in this essential vitamin(and a lot of other goodies) include dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, and peppers.

Not all vitamin e supplements are created equal either. There are multiple forms  and each has been associated with different health benefits and health risks. Tocopherols for the most part are what studies have found to produce negative effects through supplementation. Tocotrienol supplements, on the other hand, have not shown nearly the negative effects as their tocopherol brothers, but have not been the subject of as many scientific studies either.

 Of course, everyone's health and medical needs are different. The best thing to do is to always discuss any and all health problems and supplements with your doctor. Also, do your own research on what you put in your body and its possible effects. Don't just listen to advice--whether from me, a friend, or the doctor-- but understand why the advice is there, and if it is sound. Nobody knows your body better than you, so in the end you really have the potential to be your own best doctor.

 

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