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Revised 1/25/12: The first paragraph on vitamin E has been revised.
Many patients ask their healthcare providers whether they should take vitamins. Since the last Medical Letter article on this subject,1 more data have become available on the benefits and risks of taking vitamins.
VITAMIN E — Vitamin E in food or supplements acts as an antioxidant, but under some conditions may have a pro-oxidant effect.2 High doses of vitamin E may interfere with vitamin K metabolism and platelet function.
Effect on Mortality – A meta-analysis of 26 clinical trials including 105,065 subjects found that supplementation with vitamin E alone or in combination with beta-carotene and vitamin A was associated with an increased risk of death.3
Pregnancy – A meta-analysis of 9 trials involving 19,810 pregnant women found that vitamin E and... more
4. A Conde-Agudelo et al. Supplementation with vitamins C and E during pregnancy for the prevention of preeclampsia and other adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes: a systematic review and metaanalysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2011; 204:503.
24. CM Albert et al. Effect of folic acid and B vitamins on risk of cardiovascular events and total mortality among women at high risk for cardiovascular disease: a randomized trial. JAMA 2008; 299:2027.
25. JF Toole et al. Lowering homocysteine in patients with ischemic stroke to prevent recurrent stroke, myocardial infarction, and death: the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2004; 291:565.