Don’t be surprised if you hear about another study blasting the use of vitamin E. Seems a study of 7,000 patients, appearing in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association, found taking vitamin E had no effect on the risk of one’s risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease and actually increased a patient’s chance of heart failure.

That said, the seven-year study showed 14.7 percent of patients taking supplements suffered from heart failure, only slighty different from a placebo (12.7 percent). Also, the lead researcher recommended additional research be done to ensure the connection between heart failure and vitamin wasn’t a fluke.

The only value of this study, as I see it, is to highlight the importance of using the correct kind of vitamin E. The kind of vitamin E most people often refer to which is sold in most stores is dl-alpha-tocopherol, and I urge you to stay away from it, as it is synthetic. In fact, I’ve devoted many pages on my Web site to recent studies that demonstrate, beyond a doubt, the true value of natural vitamin E:

  • One often-overlooked form of vitamin E — gamma-tocopherol — may be a valuable anti-cancer agent.
  • The risk of prostate cancer can be cut significantly when vitamin E’s major components — alpha- and gamma-tocopherol — are present in high levels in the blood.

If you’re not getting enough vitamin E and want to supplement your diet, I recommend you do your homework and find a high-quality brand. Although we don’t stock this in my Web store, I recommend Carlson’s vitamin E, as they do make one of the best products, and you can buy it in most health food stores.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 293 No. 11, March 16, 2005: 1338-1347

USA Today March 16, 2005