Old Studies on Vitamin E.


What old studies have been done on vitamin E? In 1953 Dr. M.K.
Horwitt,head of the biochemical Research Laboratory at Elgin
State hospital in Elgin,Illinois,made the first study of what
happens when humans are maintained for periods of time on low-
E diets. The project spanned more than eight years,making it one
of the longest-as well as the most thorough studies of human
metabolism under controlled conditions. A total of thirty eight
subjects participated in the study. The outcome was simply
stated as: " There was no apparent physical or mental  
impairment caused by the restriction intake of vitamin E. Low e
patients remained in satisfactory health,despite the lowering of
alpha-tocopherol ( now called vitamin E)  in their blood by 80
percent. However, their red blood cells did have somewhat of a
shorter survival time,on average,about 110 days instead of 123,
than those of the comparison groups. The shorter cell survival
time was considered sufficient enough to terminate the
experiment."

In earlier studies with monkeys  that had been severely deprived
of vitamin E had developed anemia,and Dr. Horwitt didn't want to
risk that possibility with the Elgin patients.In short,the study
showed that humans apparently  need some vitamin E-but the
requirement is modest,and can be satisfied by typical everyday
diets."In fact,in 1973 the National Research Council ( NRC)
announced a new much lower recommended
daily allowance of
vitamin E. The former international units (IU) for adults was 25
to 30 unit,but was cut to 12 to 15 IU ( equivalent to
approximately 8 to 10 milligrams) and found in
natural foods,
such as,most vegetable oils,  margarine,whole grain cereals,
meats,fish,poultry,milk,eggs,legumes,fruits,and nuts. Margarine
has at least thirteen times more vitamin E than butter. A salmon
steak contains ten times the e vitamin of a beefsteak,pound for
pound. And despite refining procedures,most vegetable oils are
high in polyunsaturated fats,are also adequate sources of vitamin
e. The (NRC) made it clear in a June 1973 statement. " Vitamin E
is available in adequate quantities in the ordinary diet."

The Dr.Horwitt study also showed that" nine of the thirty eight
participates of the study developed peptic ulcers disease which
showed up in X-ray  examinations,although, not in patient
symptoms. But after extensive expert studies,it was concluded
that the ailment was cause by factors  other than vitamin E
deficiency. Significantly,the incidence of ulcers was no higher
among low-E patients than among those who received the same
diet plus vitamin e supplements. Despite countless studies done
over the years discounting vitamin E as a cure for and prevention
of arthritis,ulcers,heart disease,infertility and warts. The claims
keep coming ,and the cash registers keep ringing.

Some vitamin e enthusiasts still give it credit for adding vigor,
strength and endurance. Nearly fifty years ago,three British
researchers, Drs. I. M. Sharman,  M. G. Down,and R. N. Sen,
decided to test the possibility. Thirteen boys in a boarding school
was given 400 milligrams of vitamin e daily during a six week
program of intensive physical training. Before and after the six-
week period,they were subjected to a variety of tests-including
pull-ups,push-ups,sit-ups,breath-holding,running,and swimming
endurance. At the end of the six week period the boys showed
significant improvement. Then a second group of boys were
matched to the thirteen test subjects in age,weight,and other
criteria,were put to the same test but were given a placebo
similar in appearance to the vitamin e capsule taken by the test
subjects. And guess what? The placebo group also improved! "No
significant difference were found between the two groups,"the
British researchers reported."In addition,alpha tocopherol has
been used for nearly a hundred  years as a medicine. Ranging
form 300 to 600 milligrams a day or even higher;thirty to
seventy-five times the recommended daily allowance of the NRC.
The news magazine" Time" first broke the story of vitamin E as a
medicine in its June 10,1946 issue.
"Out of Canada last week came news of a startling scientific  
discovery: a treatment for heart disease(the nations No.1 killer)
which so far has succeeded against all common forms of the
ailment...large,concentrated doses of vitamin E benefited four
types of heart ailment( 95 per cent of the total):arteriosclerotic,
hypertensive, rheumatic,old and new coronary heart disease.
The vitamin helps a failing heart. It eliminates anginal pain. It is
non-toxic."  The clinical trials at that "Time"were conducted by
three Canadian physicians-Dr. Evan Shute,of the American
College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist and of the Royal College
of Surgeons (Canada); his brother,Dr. Wilfrid E. Shute,a specialist
in heart disease,and Dr. Albert Vogelsang. They based their
conclusions on personal experiences with patents. An example
reported by Dr. Wilfrid,involved a fifteen year old boy who had
suffered a second attack of acute rheumatic fever. During the
first attack the boy had been hospitalized for an extended period
of time. The next time,Dr. Shute did not recommend
hospitalization."The only treatment I used for the boy was 200
units of alpha-tocopherol daily,"Dr. Shute reported." In three
days he was apparently well,and on the sixth day he walked into
my office. He was able to return to normal farm activities." The
Canadian group reported on eighty-four patients of theirs treated
with vitamin E. According to the group,all the patients had
symptoms of angina pectoris-chest pain usually associated with
coronary heart disease-and the majority had responded
positively to vitamin E treatment."  

"By 1950 thirteen studies had been published in medical journals
( mostly American),all reporting the worthlessness of vitamin E
during clinical trials with patients who suffered with heart
diseases. These reports were written by thirty-two researchers,
including eminent cardiologist and professors of internal
medicine. They involved 450 patients,as compared with the 84
used in the Canadian Dr. Shute,and Vogelsang report. Dr.
Herbert Eichert of Miami,Florida sent questionnaires to
department heads at medical schools throughout the United
States. "Most of the clinicians,he reported,"abandoned their trials
because of the utter lack of response during the preliminary
phase of their investigations."  So after nearly a hundred years
later,the war between the American pharmaceutical Industry and
the Canadian continues. So who do we believe? Maybe it's time to,
to some extent,be our own judge?
With the on going controversy about the E vitamin and it's
benefits,you may wonder. Who made vitamin E?  Where did it
come from? What is it good for? Do I need it? How do I know if I
need it?  Hopefully,most of your questions have been answered.
But  lets take a look at the history of vitamin E. Over a hundred
years ago scientists isolated a group of six or more substances
called tocopherols,  designated as alpha,beta,gamma. The alpha
form of tocopherol was found to be the most biologically potent.
In 1938  the substance was synthesized,and today better known
as "vitamin E."  
Early research had shown the Vitamin to be dietary essential for
many animal species, but no human benefits could be found. "
For years it remained a vitamin in search of a disease." Is vitamin
E a magical cure for all diseases that's being covered up by the
medical industry? These claims have appeared in magazine
articles and paper back books. Bearing such titles as " Vitamin E
for ailing  and Healthy Hearts", "Vitamin E: Your Key to a Healthy
Heart",and "Vitamin E: Key to Sexual Satisfaction".    
Old reports about vitamin e,such as these,were taken from Old
Consumer Union publications and various other sources. It does
not reflect any personal studies done by me or my knowledge of
the subject. I bring it to you as documented. This site deals
mostly with old documentation. For that reason,consider the fact
that updated research may prove these results obsolete.
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