12 January - 20 June 2016

“Excessive” vitamin E not dangerous

24 April 13

A review paper in Journal of Lipid Research concludes that 'excessive' consumption of vitamin E presents no health risk. The review by Prof. Maret G. Traber, of Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon cites 181 research papers. It notes that unlike vitamins A and D, α-tocopherol (which is a fat-soluble form of vitamin E) does not accumulate to “toxic” levels in the liver or extra-hepatic tissues. This was despite meta-analyses reporting that consumption of vitamin E supplements (400 IU or more) by humans were associated with increased risk of dying. However it further notes that the accuracy of these statistical analyses do remain in dispute, although the relationship between vitamin E and the adverse effects observed in some intervention studies have largely gone unidentified.  Plants synthesize eight different forms of vitamin E. The different vitamin E forms are interconvertable by plants, but there is no convincing evidence that the same is true for animals, and these different forms of vitamin E have differing biologic activities in rodents. Only α-tocopherol is recognized by the Food and Nutrition Board to meet human vitamin E requirements.  The mechanisms for processing α-tocopherol are the focus of Traber's review and it concludes by saying that α-tocopherol is the most efficient and safest of the vitamin E forms, and that the safety of α-tocopherol can also be inferred from the relative lack of specific mechanisms for its metabolism.

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory, part of the Investigative Analysis Team has considerable expertise in all aspects of fat analysis and fatty acid profiling and can analyse for both tocopherols and tocotrienols (forms of vitamin E).  To evaluate the healthy fats in your product please contact Customer Services on 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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