(NaturalNews) Doctors have warned over the years that taking extra vitamin E could pose health risks. But is this based on facts? According to a new review of numerous studies of vitamin E just published in the Journal of Lipid Research, the human body has biological mechanisms that simply eliminate excess levels of the vitamin - and that makes it almost impossible to take a harmful amount.
"Taking too much vitamin E is not the real concern," Maret Traber, an internationally recognized expert on this micronutrient and professor in the Oregon State University (OSU) College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said in a media statement. "A much more important issue is that more than 90 percent of people in the U.S. have inadequate levels of vitamin E in their diet."
Traber added that no level of vitamin E in the diet or from any normal use of supplements should be cause for concern. "I believe that past studies which have alleged adverse consequences from vitamin E have misinterpreted the data," she said.
So why take vitamin E at all? Traber notes in her review that it is an antioxidant and is a vitally important nutrient needed for proper function of many organs, nerves and muscles. Although found in oils, meat and some other foods, it is often consumed at inadequate dietary levels, especially when people follow low-fat diets.
Why vitamin E is safe, and why you need it
In the new review of how vitamin E is metabolized, Traber and her research colleagues found that two major systems in the liver control the level of vitamin E in the body and routinely excrete excessive amounts. "Toxic levels of vitamin E in the body simply do not occur," Traber said. "Unlike some other fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and D, it's not possible for toxic levels of vitamin E to accumulate in the liver or other tissues."
Vitamin E is known to be an anticoagulant that can reduce blood clotting so mainstream medicine has often assumed it could result in worrisome and even dangerous bleeding. But Traber's review reveals that no research has found this poses a health risk.
However, vitamin E has been shown to perform many roles in optimizing health. For example, it protects polyunsaturated fatty acids from oxidizing (and may help protect other essential fats in the body) and has been studied for possible help in preventing or treating many degenerative diseases. Traber noted that higher than normal intake of vitamin E may be needed for some people who have certain health problems. In addition, smoking has also been shown to deplete vitamin E levels.
NaturalNews has previously reported that University of Illinois researchers have demonstrated how the antioxidant properties of vitamin E put a damper on the cause of ongoing inflammation in muscles. In addition, University of Florida scientist Colleen Le Prell, Ph.D., has conducted studies indicating vitamin E can help protect against noise-induced and perhaps even age-related hearing loss in humans.
About the author: Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA''''s "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine''''s "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic''''s "Men''''s Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.