Submitted to: Lancet
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Not required.
Technical Abstract: Vitamin E is an essential fat soluble vitamin. The natural form of vitamin E has the highest biological activity and is the most widely available form found in food. Vegetables and seed oils are the main dietary sources of vitamin E. The most widely accepted biological function of vitamin E is related to its antioxidant properties. It is essential for neurological function, preventing genetic disorders, red blood cell hemolysis and other disorders in adults and premature infants. Recently it has been recognized to play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer and to have immunostimulatory properties. Compelling evidence from numerous basic research and epidemiological studies supports the notion that intakes of higher than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin E may be beneficial in main- taining optimal health in humans. However, results from limited intervention studies do not conclusively support this view. At present, supplemental vitamin E can prevent and decrease the progression of neurological symptoms of vitamin E deficiency in children and adults with malabsorption syndrome. Data from clinical trials show that vitamin E supplementation or intakes higher than the RDA can increase immune response of humans, and this, in turn, may provide protection against cancer and infectious diseases.