Over-the-counter E Supplements
A John Hopkins University study review of 136,000 patients showed that 150 or more international units (IU) of vitamin E per day increased "all-cause" risk of death. And the most common dosage found in over-the counter E supplements 400 IU- raised that risk by 4 percent.
"When you give a high-dose supplement," says lead study author Edgar R. Miller IIIl M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine and epedimeology at the Johns Hopkins school of medicine, "you displace other antioxidants from the cells. And there are animal lab studies that suggest that high-dose E can become a prooxidant" -- which means it may actually create harmful free radicals.
It's crucial, to note that the study patients were all more than 47 years old, and a majority had free existing conditions, such as heart disease. So this research says nothing about how vitamin E affects younger, healthier people. However, there's more research showing that E does not protect against a laundry list of ills, from prostate cancer to exercise-induced free radicals to skin damage from the sun. "I don't see any reason to take megadose? Of E," says Paul Shekelle. M.D., Ph.D., project director for the nonprofit RAND Corporation's Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center in Santa Monica, Which has studied vitamin E. "with no evidence of benefit, people are wasting their money."
The bottom line is until there's further research, stick with natural sources of vitamin E, such as nuts, green leafy vegetables, and vegetable oils. If you're not big on those, take a low dose multivitamin offering 100 percent of the RDA. That's all you need.