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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Vitamin E
Posted by: JR
Date: March 11, 2005 12:00 AM

A couple months back vitamin E was all over the media claiming studies showed it was useless against fighting heart disease. The media really pushed this story as I saw it on local and national news of all types, television, online, and printed. I would like to know your opinion on this matter. I understand that it's the d-alpha tocopherol in E that prevents clotting. Could E be used instead of blood thinners like coumadin? Would the effects show on a PT test? I take E as a preventative, but could it also be used in an emergency like aspirin? Through your library articles, I found a great product called Unique E. They suggest one 400 IU pill for every 40 lbs. of weight, up to 6 pills a day. Seeing as I'm over 200 lbs., I would have to take the max dosage. Is this too much E? They also suggest taking the entire dose in the morning. What's the reasoning behind this, as I normally spread my supplement intake throughout the day with meals. Finally, is there any supplements that shouldn't be taken with fat soluble vitamins like E? Someone told me that I shouldn't take glucosamine with other vitamins or food because it binds to fats. Supposedly, glucosamine is the active ingredient in those fat absorbing pills like chitosan. Any truth to this?

RE: Vitamin E
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: March 18, 2005 3:14 AM

I consider the medial blitz about vitamin E to have come from the same pharmaceutical money driven propaganda machine as all the bad press about vitamin C which came out a couple years ago. One can twist statistics to imply almost any proof, but when you look at the entire body of literature about vitamin E, well let me say that I will continue taking my 800 IU daily as a preventative along with my 3000 mg. of C. Megadoses of E definitely suppress clotting (i.e. "thin" the blood) and if added to Coumadin the dose of Coumadin will have to be adjusted to make room for the thinning effect of E. In a clotting emergency one should use IV magnesium and heparin. E would not be in the first line of treatment for an emergency but would probably be as good as aspirin. Aspirin is recommended because even people who have no idea of what vitamins are have a bottle of aspirin in their medicine cabinet. If you take large doses of E you will notice easy bruisability and if you take a blood thinner, you should add E at those large doses only on the advice of your doc. You can take E at intervals though the day or all at once. It is fat soluble and is stored in the liver and slowly released so frequent dosing is of no particular benefit. My understanding about glucosamine is that the business about fat binding is not true.

RE: Vitamin E
Posted by: JR
Date: March 18, 2005 5:38 AM

Are there any cases of patients who are required to take a blood thinner like coumadin taking just vitamin E?


RE: Vitamin E
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: March 18, 2005 2:17 PM

Yes. All cases should be followed with a prothrombin time test at regular intervals.



This Thread has been closed

 




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