Unjustified Criticism of Vitamins
New Study Supports Vitamin E for Better Bones
"The main message is that there's not much evidence of a long term health benefit to taking most of the vitamins that people are taking." This is the comment made by Dr. Stephen Fortmann, who is associated with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon. He and his colleagues analyzed studies that examined vitamin and mineral use to prevent cancer and heart disease.
Is his opinion, or statement, a fair one? He gives the impression that taking vitamins and minerals is of little benefit. As one who monitors the constant flow of studies of nutritional supplements, with overwhelmingly positive outcomes, I am always amazed at how people like Dr. Fortmann can put a negative spin on what I see as such a positive scenario.
I will give you one explanation. Many years ago, there were claims made that vitamin E was nothing short of a miracle drug in the prevention or treatment of heart disease. Yes, it turns out that does not seem to be the case. But does that totally discredit the value of vitamin E? Of course not. Does that mean it has no health benefit to those at risk of heart disease and cancer? . . . or other health concerns? Of course not.
To the contrary. Vitamin E, especially as we now better understand it, has been shown, continuously, to have value. Just as we now know that “beta-carotene” is not the same are natural carotenoids, we know that “vitamin E” is a mixture of eight isomers–four tocopherols and four tocotrienes–with different actions and activities, is not the same as synthetic vitamin E (dl-alpha tocopherol).
Here is an example of the steady stream of positive studies on vitamin E
New study: women with good vitamin E levels less likely to have osteoporosis
Doctors measured vitamin E levels, diet, and bone mineral density in 232 postmenopausal women with or without osteoporosis. Because vitamin E depends on other lipids in the blood to be effectively absorbed, researchers looked at the ratio of vitamin E to circulating lipids.
Compared to women with healthy bone mineral density, women with osteoporosis had 17 percent less vitamin E compared to other circulating lipids. Doctors also found that, compared to women with the lowest levels, women with the highest circulating levels of vitamin E had healthy bone mineral density and were 32 percent less likely to develop osteoporosis.
Discussing their findings, doctors said that earlier lab studies found vitamin E helped maintain normal bone growth and formation, and that these results suggest that vitamin E may increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
Reference: Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism; 2013, Vol. 31, No. 4, 455-60