Higher vitamin E levels linked to lower mortality

A diet rich in vitamin E may protect middle-aged male smokers from dieing from diseases such as certain cancers and coronary heart disease, says a new study. ?The current study suggests that higher serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol (up to 13 to 14 milligrams per litre, which is within the normal range) are associated with moderately lower total and cause-specific mortality in older male smokers,? wrote lead author Margaret Wright from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Indeed, the new study, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, appears to highlight the difference between dietary and supplemental sources of the vitamin. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, actually refers to a group of eight compounds: four types of tocopherols and four tocotrienols. While alpha-tocopherol is the form mostly found in supplements, a balanced diet will provide all eight types in varying concentrations. The new research examined the link between baseline serum alpha-tocopherol concentrations and death from certain causes and death from all causes, based on 29 092 Finnish male smokers (average age 57, average BMI 26 kg per sq. m) who took part in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study. Alpha-tocopherol levels were measured at baseline (average value 11.9 milligrams per litre) and only ten per cent reported using vitamin E supplements at the start of the study, showing that the majority of vitamin E was from the diet. After 19 years of follow-up the researchers had documented 4518 deaths due to cancer and 5776 due to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dr. Wright and her co-workers report that men with the highest serum alpha-tocopherol levels (more than 13.5 mg/L) had significantly reduced risk of cause-specific mortality than those with the lowest levels (less than 10 mg/L). Mortality due to lung cancer, prostate cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and respiratory diseases were found to be reduced by 21, 32, 16, 36, 42 per cent, respectively, for men with the highest serum levels, compared to men with the lowest levels. So-called all-cause mortality was reduced by 18 per cent if serum alpha-tocopherol levels were above 13.5 mg/L, compared to those with the lowest levels.?Continuous serum alpha-tocopherol values indicated greater risk reductions with increasing concentrations up to about 13?14 mg/L, after which no further benefit was noted,? said the researchers.
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Source: NutraIngredients