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Caution : Vitamin E

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Most people get enough vitamin E from a balanced diet. If you’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, some research suggests that vitamin E therapy might help slow disease progression.
However, oral use of vitamin E might increase the risk of prostate cancer. Use of the supplement can pose other serious risks, particularly at high doses and if you have other health conditions or have had a heart attack or stroke.
Safety and side effects
When taken at appropriate doses, oral use of vitamin E is generally considered safe. Rarely, oral use of vitamin E can cause:
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Rash
  • Gonadal dysfunction
  • Increased concentration of creatine in the urine (creatinuria)
Taking higher doses of vitamin E might increase the risk of side effects. Also, there is concern that people in poor health who take high doses of vitamin E are at increased risk of death.
Use of vitamin E can interact with many conditions. For example, research suggests that oral use of vitamin E might increase the risk of prostate cancer. Other research suggests that vitamin E use might increase the risk of death in people with a severe history of heart disease, such as heart attack or stroke. Talk with your doctor before taking vitamin E if you have:
  • A vitamin K deficiency
  • An eye condition in which the retina is damaged (retinitis pigmentosa)
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Diabetes
  • A history of a previous heart attack or stroke
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Liver disease
The supplement might increase your risk of bleeding. If you’re planning to have surgery, stop taking vitamin E two weeks beforehand. Also, talk to your doctor about vitamin E use if you’re about to have or you just had a procedure to open blocked arteries and restore normal blood flow to your heart muscle (angioplasty).
Interactions
Use of some drugs can affect your vitamin E  balanced diet levels. Possible interactions include:
  • Alkylating agents and anti-tumor antibiotics. There’s concern that high doses of vitamin E might affect the use of these chemotherapy drugs.
  • Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements. Use of vitamin E with these drugs, herbs and supplements to reduce blood clotting might increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates. Use caution when taking vitamin E and other drugs affected by these enzymes, such as omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid).
  • Statins and niacin. Taking vitamin E with statins or niacin, which might benefit people with high cholesterol, could reduce niacin’s effect.
  • Vitamin K. Taking vitamin E with vitamin K might decrease the effects of vitamin K.

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