Can vitamin C prevent a cold?

Vitamin C is often touted as a natural cold remedy. The nutrient is featured in supplements promising to boost the immune system. Nobel laureate Dr. Linus Pauling famously claimed that taking large doses of vitamin C helps thwart a cold. Is there something to these claims? “The data show that vitamin C is only marginally beneficial when it comes to the common cold,” says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Can vitamin C prevent a cold?

About vitamin C

Our bodies don’t make vitamin C, but we need it for immune function, bone structure, iron absorption, and healthy skin. We get vitamin C from our diet, usually in citrus fruits, strawberries, green vegetables, and tomatoes. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for men is 90 milligrams (mg) per day, and for women, it’s 75 mg per day.

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The impact on colds

The most convincing evidence to date comes from a 2013 review of 29 randomized trials with more than 11,000 participants. Researchers found that among extremely active people—such as marathon runners, skiers, and Army troops doing heavy exercise in subarctic conditions—taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C every day appeared to cut the risk of getting a cold in half. But for the general population, taking daily vitamin C did not reduce the risk of getting a cold.

More encouraging: taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day did appear to reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children, which translated to about one less day of illness. “That could be important for some people, since the common cold causes 23 million lost days of work each year,” says Dr. Bistrian.

What you should do

If you want the benefits of vitamin C, you’ll need to consume it every day, and not just at the start of cold symptoms.

Should you take a supplement? “It’s better to get vitamin C from food, because you also get other important nutrients. Eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day for general health, and you’ll get enough vitamin C,” advises Dr. Bistrian.

What about claims that massive doses of vitamin C can help prevent a cold? Some studies have suggested there may be a benefit, but they required doses of 8,000 mg per day.

At doses above 400 mg, vitamin C is excreted in the urine. A daily dose of 2,000 mg or more can cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and it may interfere with tests for blood sugar.

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Vitamin C recommendations and Side effects

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s found in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. It’s well known for being a potent antioxidant, as well as having positive effects on skin health and immune function. Vitamin C recommendations and Side effects are mentioned in below.

Side Effects

Serious side effects from too much vitamin C are very rare, because the body cannot store the vitamin. However, amounts greater than 2,000 mg/day are not recommended. Doses this high can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. Large doses of vitamin C supplementation are not recommended during pregnancy. They can lead to shortage of vitamin C in the baby after delivery.

Too little vitamin C can lead to signs and symptoms of deficiency, including:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding gums
  • Decreased ability to fight infection
  • Decreased wound-healing rate
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Easy bruising
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
  • Rough, dry, scaly skin
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weakened tooth enamel

A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy. This mainly affects older, malnourished adults.

Recommendations

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins reflects how much of each vitamin most people should get each day. The RDA for vitamins may be used as goals for each person.

How much of each vitamin you need depends on your age and gender. Other factors, such as pregnancy and illnesses, are also important.

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins, including vitamin C, is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.

Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin C:

Infants

  • 0 to 6 months: 40* milligrams/day (mg/day)
  • 7 to 12 months: 50* mg/day

*Adequate Intake (AI)

Children

  • 1 to 3 years: 15 mg/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 25 mg/day
  • 9 to 13 years: 45 mg/day

Adolescents

  • Girls 14 to 18 years: 65 mg/day
  • Pregnant teens: 80 mg/day
  • Breastfeeding teens: 115 mg/day
  • Boys 14 to 18 years: 75 mg/day

Adults

  • Men age 19 and older: 90 mg/day
  • Women age 19 year and older: 75 mg/day
  • Pregnant women: 85 mg/day
  • Breastfeeding women: 120 mg/day

Smokers or those who are around secondhand smoke at any age should increase their daily amount of vitamin C an additional 35 mg per day.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those who smoke need higher amounts of vitamin C. Ask your health care provider what amount is best for you.

Alternative Names

Ascorbic acid; Dehydroascorbic acid

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Health benefits of vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables are the best food sources of vitamin C. Eating a variety of these healthful foods will help people meet their daily requirements. Health benefits of vitamin C are mentioned below.

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, plays many important roles in the body. In particular, it is key to the immune system, helping prevent infections and fight disease.

The human body does not store vitamin C, so people need to get this nutrient from their diet every day. It dissolves in water, and any excess leaves the body in urine.

This article looks at the foods richest in vitamin C and how to include them in the diet. It also discusses the vitamin’s function and health benefits.

Why is vitamin C important?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It protects the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can cause changes in cells and DNA that can lead to illnesses, including cancer.

This vitamin also plays a key role in almost all of the body’s tissues. Without vitamin C, the body cannot make collagen, a protein that is necessary for building and maintaining:

  • healthy bones
  • joints
  • skin
  • digestive tract tissues

Vitamin C is an important part of the immune system, which defends against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Studies show that low levels of vitamin C lead to problems with the immune system and other illnesses.

Vitamin C deficiency can result in a condition called scurvy. This deficiency is relatively rare in the United States.

A vitamin C deficiency, or scurvy, may cause:

  • joint pain
  • bleeding gums
  • fatigue
  • problems with wound healing
  • depression
  • tooth loss

Health benefits of vitamin C intake

The following sections discuss some of the most important benefits of vitamin C.

Boosting heart health

Some evidence suggests that vitamin C may help lower the risk of heart disease or its complications.

One study indicates that people who consume more vitamin C have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Other researchers are not convinced that vitamin C alone improves heart health. However, it is clear that eating more fruits and vegetables can help boost the health of the heart by providing a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Strengthening the immune system

Vitamin C has an immune-boosting effect that can help the body fight off illnesses, such as the common cold.

One study found that vitamin C helped prevent pneumonia and supported tetanus treatment. Also, findings of an animal study suggest that vitamin C plays a role in reducing lung inflammation that results from the flu.

Lowering the risk of some cancers

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it can prevent damage caused by free radicals. This may help prevent diseases such as cancer.

Investigations into whether vitamin C effectively prevents cancer have yielded mixed findings. However, the results of a few studies have been positive:

  • A meta-analysis found that vitamin C was linked to a lower risk of certain types of brain tumor.
  • Another study determined that high doses of vitamin C impaired the growth of colorectal tumors in mice.
  • A different meta-analysis observed that higher vitamin C intake was associated with a lower risk of lung cancer.
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Top 12 Vitamin C rich foods

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s found in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Top 12 Vitamin C rich foods are mentioned below.

1. Guava

Yellow and red fruits are usually credited with having high vitamin content, but guava is a fruit that stands tall as an exception. A single guava fruit, weighing 100 grams, has over 200mg of Vitamin C content (as per the USDA), which is almost twice as high as that in an orange.

2. Pineapple

Pineapple is an underrated nutrient powerhouse – the fruit contains huge amounts of vitamin C. A mineral which is rarely found in natural foods, manganese, is also found in pineapple making it a great addition to the diet.

3. Strawberries

Strawberries are known for their antioxidant properties all over, but they are also a rich source of vitamin C. Their vitamin C content is slightly more than that in a single orange.

4. Kiwi

If you’re looking for a healthy snack option or a way to add ‘green’ to your diet, Kiwi fruit is the way to go. Just one kiwi fruit contains up to 84mg of vitamin C, along with other vital vitamins such as vitamin K and E.

5. Mango

Mangoes are naturally high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, and thus help in boosting immunity as well. Green mangoes actually have more vitamin C content than their yellow or red counterparts.

6. Papaya

Papaya is best enjoyed fresh, whether as a salad or in the form of a juice. Half a papaya, if eaten raw, provides a significantly higher amount of Vitamin C than a single orange.

7. Broccoli

Apart from being a great vegetable for maintaining overall health, broccoli is also a great naturally occurring source of vitamin C, which helps repair damaged tissue and maintaining a healthy immunity.

8. Kale

Kale has a number of health benefits, and one of them is being high in vitamins C and K. A delicious kale juice is the way to add it to your diet or can even be replaced in pesto sauce, in place of basil.

9. Red And Yellow Bell Peppers

Red and yellow bell peppers are super rich in antioxidants, which help in maintaining eye and heart health. They also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which boosts collagen level and may help to prevent lung cancer too.

So, next time you’re looking for ways to add to your diet that are naturally high in vitamin C, try one of these options instead of using the regular orange.

10. Oranges

One medium-sized orange provides 70 mg of vitamin C, which is 78% of the DV.

Widely eaten, oranges make up a significant portion of dietary vitamin C intake.

Other citrus fruits can also help you meet your vitamin C needs. For example, half a grapefruit contains 44 mg or 73% of the DV, a mandarin 24 mg or 39% of the DV and the juice of one lime 13 mg or 22% of the DV.

11. Lemons

Lemons were given to sailors during the 1700s to prevent scurvy. One whole raw lemon, including its peel, provides 83 mg of vitamin C, or 92% of the DV.

The vitamin C in lemon juice also acts as an antioxidant.

When fruits and vegetables are cut, the enzyme polyphenol oxidase is exposed to oxygen. This triggers oxidation and turns the food brown. Applying lemon juice to the exposed surfaces acts as a barrier, preventing the browning process.

12. Parsley

Two tablespoons (8 grams) of fresh parsley contain 10 mg of vitamin C, providing 11% of the recommended DV.

Along with other leafy greens, parsley is a significant source of plant-based, non-heme iron.

Vitamin C increases the absorption of non-heme iron. This helps prevent and treat iron-deficiency anemia (27Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

One two-month study gave people on a vegetarian diet 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day with their meals. At the end of the study, their iron levels had increased by 17%, hemoglobin by 8% and ferritin, which is the stored form of iron, by 12% (29Trusted Source).

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Vitamin C Functions and Food Sources

Vitamin C Functions and Food Sources

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It is needed for normal growth and development. Here are some functions and food sources of vitamin C.

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. Although the body keeps a small reserve of these vitamins, they have to be taken regularly to prevent a shortage in the body.

Function

Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to:

  • Form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
  • Heal wounds and form scar tissue
  • Repair and maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth
  • Aid in the absorption of iron

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals.

  • Free radicals are made when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
  • The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process.
  • Free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis.

The body is not able to make vitamin C on its own. It does not store vitamin C. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.

For many years, vitamin C has been a popular household remedy for the common cold.

  • Research shows that for most people, vitamin C supplements or vitamin C-rich foods do not reduce the risk of getting the common cold.
  • However, people who take vitamin C supplements regularly might have slightly shorter colds or somewhat milder symptoms.
  • Taking a vitamin C supplement after a cold starts does not appear to be helpful.

Food Sources

All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C.

Fruits with the highest sources of vitamin C include:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries
  • Watermelon

Vegetables with the highest sources of vitamin C include:

  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
  • Green and red peppers
  • Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Winter squash

Some cereals and other foods and beverages are fortified with vitamin C. Fortified means a vitamin or mineral has been added to the food. Check the product labels to see how much vitamin C is in the product.

Cooking vitamin C-rich foods or storing them for a long period of time can reduce the vitamin C content. Microwaving and steaming vitamin C-rich foods may reduce cooking losses. The best food sources of vitamin C are uncooked or raw fruits and vegetables. Exposure to light can also reduce vitamin C content. Choose orange juice that is sold in a carton instead of a clear bottle.

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Parsley uses, side effects and Precautions

Overview Information

Parsley is an herb. The leaf, seed, and root are used to make medicine. Parsley uses, side effects and Precautions are explained below.

Some people take parsley by mouth for bladder infections (UTIs), kidney stones (nephrolithiasis), gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, constipation, diabetes, cough, asthma, and high blood pressure.

In some women it is taken by mouth to start menstrual flow or to cause an abortion.

Some people apply parsley directly to the skin for dark patches on the face, cracked or chapped skin, bruises, tumors, insect bites, and to stimulate hair growth.

In foods and beverages, parsley is widely used as a garnish, condiment, food, and flavoring.

In manufacturing, parsley seed oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes. Here are Parsley uses, side effects and precautions.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Dark patches on the face (melasma). Early research shows that dabbing brewed parsley water on the face helps to lighten dark spots called melasma. It seems to work as well as a medicine called hydroquinone.
  • Asthma.
  • Bladder infections (UTIs).
  • Bruises.
  • Cough.
  • Cracked or chapped skin.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Fluid retention and swelling (edema).
  • Insect bites.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Liver disorders.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Tumors.

PARSLEY

OTHER NAME(S): 

Apium crispum, Apium petroselinum, Carum petroselinum, Common Parsley, Garden Parsley, Graine de Persil, Hamburg Parsley.

Side Effects & Safety

Parsley is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in food.

Parsley is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth as medicine, short-term. In some people, parsley can cause allergic skin reactions.

Consuming very large amounts of parsley is LIKELY UNSAFE, as this can cause other side effects like “tired blood” (anemia) and liver or kidney problems.

Also, applying parsley seed oil directly to the skin is LIKELY UNSAFE as it can cause the skin to become extra sensitive to the sun and cause a rash. Not enough is known about the safety of applying parsley root and leaf to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Eating parsley in food amounts is fine, but parsley in larger medicinal amounts is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Parsley has been used to cause an abortion and to start menstrual flow. In addition, developing evidence suggests that taking An-Tai-Yin, an herbal combination product containing parsley and dong quai, during the first three months of pregnancy increases the risk of serious birth defects. If you are pregnant, stick with using only the amount of parsley typically found in food.

Not enough is known about the safety of using parsley in medicinal amounts during breast-feeding. It’s best not to use more than typical food amounts of parsley.

Bleeding disorders: Parsley might slow blood clotting. In theory, taking parsley might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Diabetes: Parsley might lower blood sugar levels. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use parsley.

Fluid retention (edema): There is a concern that parsley might cause the body to hold onto sodium (salt), and this increases water retention.

High blood pressure: There is a concern that parsley might cause the body to hold onto sodium (salt), and this could make high blood pressure worse.

Kidney disease: Don’t take parsley if you have kidney disease. Parsley contains chemicals that can make kidney disease worse.

Surgery: Parsley might lower blood glucose levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using parsley at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

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10 Powerful Health Benefits of Parsley

10 Powerful Health Benefits of Parsley:

1. Breast Cancer Protection

Living a lifestyle that reduces your cancer risk is wise—here are habits that prevent breast cancer. Parsley may have specific protective benefits against breast cancer. “It contains a chemical compound called apigenin that is known to help inhibit breast cancer cell growth,” says Amanda Capriglione RD, CDN. “Some scientists believe that apigenin can be a possible non-toxic treatment in the future.” Add a handful of flat leaf parsley to salads, smoothies, and soups for maximum benefits.

2. Fights Inflammation

It’s one of the more troubling general symptoms—inflammation can actually be deadly. Parsley helps because it’s high in antioxidants like vitamin C, A, and E, which can help soothe inflammation. “This can help reduce the risk of arthritis, an inflammation of the joints,” says Brunilda Nazario, MD. “It is also an excellent source of flavonoids, antioxidants that help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.”

3. Makes Grilling Safer

“Consume parsley with your char-grilled chicken, fish, and steak to help minimize the cancer-causing effects of heterocyclic amines,” says Capriglione. “Heterocyclic amines are made when proteins are cooked at high-temperatures.” She suggests making a chimichurri sauce by blending parsley, fresh garlic, salt, pepper, some apple cider or red wine vinegar and olive oil together and adding to cooked meats.

4. Prevents Lines and Wrinkles

Eating parsley benefits your complexion. The herb is high in vitamin C, and vitamin C makes collagen, which gives skin its structure and strength. “Collagen helps to iron out fine lines and wrinkles,” says Capriglione. “Make a vitamin C-packed salad with some greens (including parsley), orange pieces, and finish with a lemony vinaigrette.”

5. Strengthens Bones

“Ten sprigs of parsley is enough to reach your daily dose of vitamin K,” says Capriglione. Getting an adequate amount of vitamin K in your diet may help protect against bone fractures, as it helps make the protein for bones and blood clotting.

6. Helps with Digestion

Settle your stomach with the help of this soothing herb. “It can help aid in digestion and help reduce bloating,” says Capriglione. “It contains compounds that enable the expulsion of gas from the body.” Add some flat leaf parsley into your dinner before a big night out.

7. Freshens Breath

Although it may not be able to kill all those sulfur compounds that cause bad breath, but eating some of the herb can help freshen the breath and mask any bad odours. “Parsley acts as a natural breath freshener, especially after consuming garlic or onion,” says Capriglione.

8. Helps with Bladder Infections

Suffer from UTIs? Consider adding some parsley into your diet. “Homeopathic practitioners use this to treat urinary tract infections and kidney and bladder stones,” says Nazario. “It contains chemicals that cause muscle contraction in the intestine, bladder, and uterus. Hence, indigestion, UTIs, and menstrual cramps were often treated with concoctions of this herb.”

9. Fights Off Heart Disease

Raw parsley contains folate, an important B vitamin, making it a candidate for preventing heart troubles. “Folate is involved in maintaining normal levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which is important given that elevated levels are associated with cardiovascular diseases,” says Carolina Guizar, MS, RDN, CDN. “Like vitamin C, folate is heat sensitive and is best retained when consumed in fresh parsley.”

10. Protects Your Eyes

“Parsley is a source of plant-based vitamin A,” says Guizar. “Adequate vitamin A intake ensures the optimal health of our eyes, preventing dryness, night blindness, and cataracts.”

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Vitamin E Dosage for Different Medical Conditions

Vitamin E Dosage for Different Medical Conditions;

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For vitamin E deficiency: A typical dose in adults is 60-75 IU of RRR-alpha tocopherol (natural vitamin E) per day
  • For an inherited condition that affects motor control (ataxia with vitamin E deficiency or AVED): 800-1500 mg of RRR-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol daily.
  • For low levels of red blood cells in people with long-term illness (anemia of chronic disease): 447-745 IU of vitamin E daily with erythropoietin 93-74 U/kg/week.
  • For a movement disorder often caused by antipsychotic drugs (tardive dyskinesia): 1600 IU of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) daily.
  • For improving conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility): 298-894 IU of vitamin E daily.
  • For Alzheimer disease: up to 2000 IU of vitamin E daily. Combination therapy with 5 mg of donepezil (Aricept) and 1000 IU of vitamin E per day has been used for slowing memory decline in people with Alzheimer disease.
  • For swelling (inflammation) and build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH): 800 IU of vitamin E daily.
  • For an inherited brain disorder that affects movements, emotions, and thinking (Huntington disease): 3000 IU of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E).
  • For rheumatoid arthritis (RA): 600 IU of vitamin E twice daily.
  • For treating the reduced benefit of nitrate therapy that happens when nitrates are used all day (nitrate tolerance): 298 IU of vitamin E three times daily.
  • For an inherited disorder that causes red blood cells to break down in response to stress (G6PD deficiency): 800 IU of vitamin E daily.
  • For premenstrual syndrome (PMS): 400 IU of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) daily.
  • For menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea): 200 IU to 500 IU of vitamin E daily starting 2 days before the menstrual period and continuing through the first 3 days of bleeding. 200 IU of vitamin E with 300 mg of fish oil has also been used.
  • For recovery from laser eye surgery (photoreactive keratectomy): 343 IU of vitamin E (alpha-tocopheryl nicotinate) and 25,000 units of vitamin A (retinol palmitate) have been used 3 times daily for 30 days, followed by twice daily for 2 months.
  • For scarring of tissue caused by radiation therapy: 1000 IU of vitamin E daily in combination with 800 mg of pentoxifylline.
  • For swelling (inflammation) of the eye (uveitis): 149 IU of vitamin E (unspecified forms) in combination with 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily.
  • For preventing sunburn: 1000 IU of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) in combination with 2 grams of ascorbic acid.

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

  • For treating leakage of intravenous (IV) drug from the vein into surrounding skin and tissue (extravasation): Vitamin E 10% in combination with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) 90% applied to the skin.
  • For preventing sunburn: Vitamin E in combination with topical vitamin C and melatonin applied to the skin prior to sun exposure.

CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:

  • For an inherited condition that affects motor control (ataxia with vitamin E deficiency or AVED): 40 mg/kg of RRR-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol daily.
  • For a blood disorder that reduces levels of protein in the blood called hemoglobin (beta-thalassemia): 298 mg of vitamin E daily for 4-8 weeks.
  • For scarring or hardening of blood vessels in the kidney (glomerulosclerosis): 200 Iu of vitamin E.
  • For treating bleeding within the skull (intracranial hemorrhage): 100 mg/kg of vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate).
  • For treating bleeding into or around the fluid-filled areas (ventricles) of the brain (intraventricular hemorrhage): 29.8 IU/kg of vitamin E.
  • For swelling (inflammation) and build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH): 400-1200 IU of vitamin E daily.

For the most benefit, it’s best to take vitamin E that has been made in a lab (all-rac-alpha-tocopherol) with food.

Dosing for vitamin E can be confusing. Current guidelines show recommended dietary allowance (RDA) and tolerable upper intake limits (UL) for vitamin E in milligrams. However, most products are still labeled in Inter

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Interactions of Vitamin E with medicines

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. Its main role is to act as an antioxidant, scavenging loose electrons—so-called “free radicals”—that can damage cells. [1] It also enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries. Antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin E, came to public attention in the 1980s when scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis, and might also contribute to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. Vitamin E has the ability to protect cells from free radical damage as well as stop the production of free radical cells entirely. However, conflicting study results have dimmed some of the promise of using high dose vitamin E to prevent chronic diseases. Interactions of Vitamin E with medicines are mentioned below.

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination!

  • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) interacts with VITAMIN ETaking large amounts of vitamin E along with cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) might increase how much cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) the body absorbs. By increasing how much cyclosporine the body absorbs, vitamin E might increase the effects and side effects of cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).
  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with VITAMIN ESome medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Vitamin E might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking vitamin E along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking vitamin E talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.
  • Medications for cancer (Chemotherapy) interacts with VITAMIN EVitamin E is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers. But it is too soon to know if the interaction occurs.
  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with VITAMIN EVitamin E might slow blood clotting. Taking vitamin E along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
  • Medications used for lowering cholesterol (Statins) interacts with VITAMIN ETaking vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and selenium together might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol. It is not known if taking vitamin E alone decreases the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol.Some medications used for lowering cholesterol include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and pravastatin (Pravachol).
  • Niacin interacts with VITAMIN ETaking vitamin E along with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and selenium might decrease some of the beneficial effects of niacin. Niacin can increase the good cholesterol. Taking vitamin E along with these other vitamins might decrease the good cholesterol.
  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with VITAMIN EWarfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Vitamin E can also slow blood clotting. Taking vitamin E along with warfarin (Coumadin) can increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
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Side effects of taking too much Vitamin E

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. Its main role is to act as an antioxidant, scavenging loose electrons—so-called “free radicals”—that can damage cells. [1] It also enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries. But it causes, Side effects when taking too much Vitamin E.

OTHER NAME(S): 

Acétate d’Alpha Tocophérol, Acétate d’Alpha Tocophéryl, Acétate de D-Alpha-Tocophéryl, Acétate de DL-Alpha-Tocophéryl.

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth

Vitamin E is LIKELY SAFE for most healthy people when taken by mouth. Most people do not experience any side effects when taking the recommended daily dose, which is 22.4 IU.

Vitamin E is POSSIBLY UNSAFE if taken by mouth in high doses. If you have a condition such as heart disease or diabetes, do not take doses of 400 IU/day or more. Some research suggests that high doses might increase the chance of death and possibly cause other serious side effects. The higher the dose, the greater the risk of serious side effects.

There is some concern that vitamin E might increase the chance of having a serious stroke called hemorrhagic stroke, which is bleeding into the brain. Some research shows that taking vitamin E in doses of 300-800 IU each day might increase the chance of this kind of stroke by 22%. However, in contrast, vitamin E might decrease the chance of having a less severe stroke called an ischemic stroke.

There is contradictory information about the effect of vitamin E on the chance of developing prostate cancer. Some research suggests that taking large amounts of a multivitamin plus a separate vitamin E supplement might actually increase the chance of developing prostate cancer in some men.

High doses can also cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fatigue, weakness, headache, blurred vision, rash, and bruising and bleeding.

When applied to the skin

Vitamin E is LIKELY SAFE for most healthy people when applied to the skin. While rare, applying vitamin E to the skin has caused itching and swelling in some people.

When inhaled

Vitamin E is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when inhaled. Use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products containing vitamin E as vitamin E acetate has been linked to serious lung injury in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy

When used in the recommended daily amount, vitamin E is POSSIBLY SAFE for pregnant women. There has been some concern that taking vitamin E supplements might be harmful to the fetus when taken in early pregnancy. However, it is too soon to know if this is an important concern. Until more is known, do not take vitamin E supplements during early pregnancy without talking with your healthcare provider.

Breast-feeding

Vitamin E is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in recommended daily amounts during breast-feeding.

Infants and children

Vitamin E is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. The maximum amounts of vitamin E that are considered safe for children are based on age. Less than 298 IU daily is safe for children 1 to 3 years old. Less than 447 IU daily is safe for children 4 to 8 years old. Less than 894 IU daily is safe for children 9 to 13 years old. Less than 1192 IU daily is safe for children ages 14 to 18 years old. Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when given intravenously (by IV) to premature infants in high doses.

A procedure to open a blocked or narrowed blood vessel (angioplasty)

Avoid taking supplements containing vitamin E or other antioxidant vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamin C) immediately before and following angioplasty without the supervision of a health care professional. These vitamins seem to interfere with proper healing.

Bleeding disorders

Vitamin E might make bleeding disorders worse. If you have a bleeding disorder, avoid taking vitamin E supplements.

Diabetes

Vitamin E might increase the risk for heart failure in people with diabetes. People with diabetes should avoid high doses of vitamin E.

Head and neck cancer

Do not take vitamin E supplements in doses of 400 IU/day or more. Vitamin E might increase the chance that cancer will return.

Liver disease

Vitamin E taken for 2 years or more can worsen insulin resistance when given with a liver disease called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Heart attack

Vitamin E might increase the risk for death in people with a history of heart attack. People with a history of heart attack should avoid high doses of vitamin E.

Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis)

Exercise is sometimes used by people with osteoporosis to improve bone strength. Exercising and taking high doses of vitamin E and vitamin C might lessen the benefits of exercise on bone strength.

Prostate cancer

There is concern that taking vitamin E might increase the chance of developing prostate cancer. The effect of vitamin E in men who currently have prostate cancer isn’t clear. However, in theory, taking vitamin E supplements might worsen prostate cancer in men who already have it.

An inherited eye condition that causes poor night vision and loss of side vision (retinitis pigmentosa)

All-rac-alpha-tocopherol (synthetic vitamin E) 400 IU seems to speed vision loss in people with retinitis pigmentosa. However, much lower amounts (3 IU) do not seem to produce this effect. If you have this condition, it is best to avoid vitamin E supplements.

Stroke

Vitamin E might increase the risk for death in people with a history of stroke. People with a history of stroke should avoid high doses of vitamin E.

Surgery

Vitamin E might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using vitamin E at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Low levels of vitamin K (vitamin K deficiency)

Vitamin E might worsen clotting problems in people whose levels of vitamin K are too low.

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