Vitamin E: tocopherol
Vitamin E benefits the body by acting as an antioxidant, and it was theorized that
antioxidants, and vitamin E supplements, in particular, might help prevent heart
disease and cancer. Substantial research now indicates that people who take vitamin
E and other antioxidant supplements are not protected against heart disease and
cancer and may be harmed by large doses of vitamin E. Many studies do show that
regularly eating an antioxidant-rich diet full of fruits and vegetables may lower the
risk for heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. The evidence indicates that antioxidants
and phytonutrients should be obtained from plant-based foods, fruits and
vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and fortified cereals, not as supplements.
Vitamin E obtained from food is unlikely to pose a risk for toxicity. Clinical trials
suggest that supplemental vitamin E may protect against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
but that high doses are associated with increased risk of death. Megadoses
may also pose a hazard to people taking anticoagulants by interfering with the action
of medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) and statins.
Vitamin K is necessary for the production of the proteins needed for blood clotting,
and it works with vitamin D to support bone health and possibly cardiovascular
health. Vitamin K is naturally produced by the bacteria in the intestines and comes
from plant food sources. Animal foods contain limited amounts of vitamin K.
Newborn babies lack the intestinal bacteria to produce vitamin K and may need a
supplement for the first week of life. Vitamin K deficiency may also occur in people
who take anticoagulants, such as warfarin, who are on antibiotic drugs that alter intestinal
bacteria, and who have chronic diarrhea. In all of these circumstances, only
take vitamin K on the advice of a physician. Although no Tolerable Upper Intake
Level (UL) for vitamin K has been established, excessive amounts can cause the
breakdown of red blood cells and liver damage. People on anticoagulants should be
aware that excess vitamin K can alter blood clotting times.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel