Vitamin E

Eric Bakker N.D.May 10, 2022

Vitamin E is a family of eight fat-soluble vitamins that protect the body's cellular components and other fat-soluble tissues against oxidative stress. Vitamin E in sufficient doses can reduce the risk of heart, cancer, and age-related eye deterioration (macular degeneration).

Eric Bakker Naturopath » Recipes » Vitamin E

Vitamin E The Powerful Antioxidant 

Everybody’s talking about the latest and greatest antioxidant, like resveratrol, but many tend to overlook one of the greatest antioxidants of them all, Vitamin E. Vitamin E is also known as D-alpha Tocopherol. It is is one of the eight isomers (forms) of Vitamin E.  D-alpha tocopherol is the most bio-potent stereoisomer of the Vitamin E family, with twice the activity of the commonly used synthetic alpha-tocopherol (dl-alpha). But – it is not the only form, your best bet is to get a “complete” Vitamin E supplement. Read on, it will all make sense soon enough!

Selecting and Using Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin and has a proven safe track record. Health care professionals have given amounts as high as 3200 International Units (IU) per day harmlessly. Amazingly, this is over 100 times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). It just goes to show, there is an RDA and an ODA (Optimal Daily Allowance) which is vitually ignored.

What is the best form of Vitamin E you ask? The natural, best form of vitamin E is D-alpha tocopherol with mixed natural tocopherols. and is made from vegetable oil. The synthetic form is DL-alpha tocopherol. “D” or “DL”? Not a big difference in name, is it. There is some scientific evidence that the natural or “D” (dextro-, or right-handed) form of vitamin E is more useful to the body than is the synthetic DL form. What you will find is that the natural form is a little bit more expensive, but not all that much more. My recommendations for you are when you choose a vitamin E dietary supplement, that you should carefully read the entire label. Don’t be fooled with fancy labels or claims, many sound bvery professional when in fact their raw starting materials come from very suspect sources and are cheap and synthetic.

Vitamin E Benefits

Supplementing with a high quality Vitamin E  has many benefits to your health. For example:

  • Vitamin E has an oxygen-sparing effect on your heart muscle.
  • Vitamin E helps strengthen and regulate the heartbeat.
  • Vitamin E significantly improves and encourages circulation in the smaller blood vessels of the body.
  • Another benefit is that Vitamin E helps to gradually break down blood clots in the circulatory system, and helps prevent more from forming thus reducing your risk of a stroke.
  • It seems to promote healing with the formation of much less scar tissue.

Drs. Wilfred and Evan Shute

In 1933 Doctors Wilfred and Evan Shute were perhaps the first doctors in the world to use high dose of vitamin E to treat circulatory and heart disease. At that time, antioxidants and free radicals were rather obscure concepts in the chemistry of oxidation, far removed from issues of health and disease. Also at that time, using vitamins to treat serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes was considered by the medical establishment as misguided at best and outright fraud at worst. Yet thanks to the observant practitioners such as the Shutes who were more interested in what helped their patients most, medical researchers became motivated to study it scientifically. The results would speak for themselves.

For decades, vitamin E was lampooned as a “cure in search of a disease.” In 1985, Linus Pauling wrote: “The failure of the medical establishment during the last forty years to recognise the value of vitamin E in controlling heart disease is responsible for a tremendous amount of unnecessary suffering and for many early deaths. The interesting story of the efforts to suppress the Shute discoveries about vitamin E illustrates the shocking bias of organised medicine against nutritional measures for achieving improved health.” Dr. Pauling would most likely have appreciated this comment from a recent Harvard Health Letter: “A consistent body of research indicates that vitamin E may protect people against heart disease…The data generally indicate that taking doses ranging from 100 to 800IU per day may lower the risk of heart disease by 30%-40%.” Over half a century ago, the Shute brothers and colleagues showed that, with even higher doses than those, and with an insistence on the use of natural vitamin E, the results are better still.

Today’s growing appreciation of the role of d-alpha tocopherol in preventing and reversing cardiovascular disease is due primarily to the Shute brothers. “We didn’t make vitamin E so versatile. God did. Ignore its mercy at your peril.” – Dr. Evan Shute

Referenced from :

The Shute Institute

More than 30,000 cardiac patients can’t be wrong. That is how many have been treated with Vitamin E over a thirty year period at the Shute Institute in Ontario, Canada.The successes of these doctors simply cannot be dismissed, but unfortunately today there are still many mainstream cardiologists who dismiss Vitamin E and regard it as being “worthless” and producing “expensive urine”. Today, the Shute Institute in London, Ontario, Canada, continues to see cardiac patients from all over the world, providing what is arguably the most thorough and successful vitamin E treatment for heart disease anywhere.

Vititamin E is important in the treatment of many diseases of the circulatory system. Many noteable functional medicine cardiologists such as Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute have treated heart attacks, angina, atherosclerosis, rheumatic fever, acute and chronic rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart diseases, intermittent claudication, varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, and high blood pressure with Vitamin E.  Many medical authorities were skeptical, to say the least. Vitamin E seemed to be too good for too many illnesses. Before the Shutes’ viewpoint on vitamin E can be disregarded, we must consider that they treated more than 30,000 cardiac patients over a period of more than 30 years.

Guidelines on Vitamin E Therapy

Persons with high blood pressure need to increase their daily amount of vitamin E gradually. This is because vitamin E increases the strength of the heartbeat, and a gradual increase will likely avoid any sudden rise in blood pressure. The Shutes found that over a period of months, a gradually increasing dose can yield a lower blood pressure.

The Shutes said that persons with a chronic rheumatic heart do not tolerate much vitamin E and need medical supervision if they are to use it.

Persons taking drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin) commonly find that their tests indicate a decreased need for “blood-thinning” drugs. The intelligent way to deal with this is to work with your doctor, who is responsible for your prescription, and if you find that your doctor is resistant and finds you to be a “problem patient”, you may want to find a doctor with whom you can work.

The Shute Institute Vitamin E Guidelines

  • Natural Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the treatment of Cardiovascular and Renal Diseases as suggested by Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute and the Shute Institute for Clinical and Laboratory Medicine, London, Ontario, Canada. Use only products labeled in terms of InternatIonal Units (IU).
  • Acute coronary thrombosis: 450 to 1,600 IU a day started as soon as possible and maintained.
  • Older cases of coronary thrombosis: 450 to 1,600 IU if systolic pressure is under 160 Otherwise 450 IU for the first four weeks, particularly if a hypotensive agent is used concurrently.
  • Acute rheumatic fever: 450 to 600 IU daily.
  • Chronic rheumatic heart disease: give 90 IU daily first month, 120 IU daily second month and 150 IU daily for third month. 150 IU may be ideal dose. Occasionally more is necessary and advisable. Response will necessarily be slow.
  • Anginal Syndrome: 450 to 1,600 IU if systolic pressure is under 160. Otherwise start on 150 IU for four weeks then 300 IU for four weeks, particularly if hypotensive agent is used.
  • Hypertensive heart disease: 75 IU daily for four weeks, 150 IU daily for four weeks, then cautiously increase.  Should be used with hypotensive agents.  High doses of vitamin E have been shown to reduce high blood pressure in rats with chronic kidney failure. (Vaziri N.  Hypertension, Jan 2002.) 
  • Thrombophlebitis and Phlebothrombosis: 600 to 1,600 IU daily.
  • Thrombocytopaenic Purpura: 800 to 1,200 IU daily.
  • Diabetes Mellitus: Same schedule as for cardiacs.
  • Acute and Chronic Nephritis: as for cardiac patients.
  • Burns, Plastic Surgery, Mazoplasia: 600 to 1,600 IU daily, using vitamin E ointment or vitamin E spray as adjunct.  (Editor’s note: vitamin E may also be dripped from a thumbtack-punctured capsule.)

Vitamin E Cautions

  • The maintenance dose equals the therapeutic dose.
  • Do not take iron and vitamin E at same time. If iron is indicated, separate the doses by about nine hours.
  • The digitalis requirement is often reduced after vitamin E takes hold, so over-digitalisation should be avoided. A patient receiving vitamin E should not be digitalised by the Eggleston massive dose technique nor any of its modifications. It is usually sufficient for full digitalisation to give what is ordinarily a maintenance dose of 1 1/2  grains digitalis folia or 0.1 mg digitoxin per day. By the second day the patient is often digitalised.
  • Insulin dosages in diabetic cardiacs must be watched closely, for the insulin requirement may be considerably reduced very suddenly.
  • Hyperthyroidism is sometimes a contraindication.
  • Oestrogens should rarely be given at the same time as alpha tocopherol (vitamin E).

The Shutes also recommend caution with patients who have untreated high blood pressure, a rheumatic heart, or congestive heart failure. If you are a person with these or any other preexisting medical condition, you need to WORK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN TO DETERMINE YOUR OPTIMUM VITAMIN E LEVEL.)

The 12 Major Benefits Of Vitamin E

  1. Vitamin E reduces the oxygen requirement of tissues.  Hove, Hickman, and Harris (1945) Arch. Biochem. 8:395. Telford et al (1954) Air University School of Aviation Medicine Project #21-1201-0013, Report #4, May. Randolph Field, Texas.
  2. Vitamin E melts fresh clots, and prevents embolism.  Shute, Vogelsang, Skelton and Shute (1948) Surg., Gyn. and Obst. 86:1. Wilson and Parry (1954) Lancet 1:486.
  3. Vitamin E improves collateral circulation. Enria and Fererro (1951) Arch. per Ia Scienze Med. 91:23. Domingues (1953) Angiologia 5:51. 
  4. Vitamin E is a vasodilator. Shute, Vogelsang, Skelton and Shute (1948) Surg., Gyn. and Obst. 86:1.
  5. Vitamin E occasionally lyses scar tissue. Steinberg (1948) Med. Clin. N. America 30:221, 1946.
  6. Vitamin E prevents scar contraction as wounds heal.  Shute, Vogelsang, Skelton and Shute (1948) Surg., Gyn. and Obst. 86:1.
  7. Vitamin E increases low platelet counts.  SkeIton, Shute, Skinner and Waud (1946) Science 103:762.
  8. Vitamin E decreases the insulin requirement in about 1/4 of diabetics.  Butturini (1950)  Gior. di Clin. Med. 31:1. Tolgyes (1957) Summary 9:10.
  9. Vitamin E is one of the regulators of fat and protein metabolism. Hickman (1948) Rec. of Chem. Progress, p.104.
  10. Vitamin E stimulates muscle power. Percival (1951) Summary 3:55.
  11. Vitamin E preserves capillary walls. Ames, Baxter and Griffith (1951) International Review of Vitamin Research 22:401.
  12. Vitamin E prevents haemolysis of red blood cells. Rose and Gyorgy (1951) Fed. Proc.10:239. 1951.

Useful Vitamin E Publications

  • Tolgyes, S. and Shute, E. V. (1957), Alpha Tocopherol in the Management of Small Areas of Gangrene. Can. M. A. J.  76:730.
  • Shute, E.V. (1957) The Prevention of Congenital Anomalies in the Human: Experiences with Alpha Tocopherol as a Prophylactic Measure.  J. Ob. & Gyn. Brit. Emp. 44:390.
  • Hauch, J. T.  (1957) A New Treatment for Resistant Pressure Sores. Can. M.A.J. 77:125.
  • Shute, E. V. (1957) Alpha Tocopherol in Cardiovascular Disease. Oxford University Med. Gaz. 9:96. 

Vitamin E Dosage Varies From 200 – 800IU Daily

A person in good health may wish to begin with a supplemental amount of 200 I.U. of vitamin E per day and try it for a couple of weeks. Then, 400 IU  might be taken daily for another two weeks. For the next two weeks, 600 I.U. daily, and for the next two weeks, 800 I.U. per day and so on. One ultimately takes the least amount that gives the best results. This approach is essentially that of Richard A. Passwater and is provided in more detail in his book Supernutrition (1975, Pocket Books).

Vitamin E External Uses

Vitamin E is very effective on burns. (First aid is cold on a burn; apply the “E” later). You can drip the vitamin onto burned skin directly from the capsule. This is sanitary, soothing and painless. Even third degree burns heal much more readily with twice-daily applications of vitamin E. Less scarring and greatly reduced inflammation are continually reported with its use. Absorption of the vitamin is best if the skin is dry before application.

For a large area of sunburned skin, mix a few 400 I.U. capsules with one or two tablespoons of olive oil. Gently rub this in as soon as possible after exposure. There will be little if any peeling if you apply the “E” mixture promptly.

Individuals also report relief of hemorrhoids with topical use of vitamin E. Whoops! From heart disease to hemorrhoids? You can see why doctors often do not consider vitamin E to be a serious therapy. This vitamin is just too versatile. There are ways of understanding this, though.

First, the reason one vitamin can cure so many ailments is that a deficiency of one vitamin can cause many ailments. Each vitamin has many different uses in the human body. There are, after all, just over a dozen vitamins and your body undergoes countless millions of different biochemical reactions daily. Therefore, each vitamin has to have a large variety of applications.

Second, you can try using the vitamin and see for yourself how it works.

The Main Actions of Vitamin E include:

  • Anti-ageing- prevents chromosome damage, counteracts free-radical generation, stabilises cell membranes. Can be used successfully to prevent ageing, and all aspects of ageing, skin health, circulation, musculoskeletal, CV, etc.
  • Circulatory: lowers levels of Interleukin 6 and C-reactive protein, protects blood-vessels from free radical damage. Blood thinning, inhibits thrombin production. Prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol and subsequent plaque formulation, and inhibits platelet aggregation.
  • Metabolism enhancer: Inhibits free-radical production induced by exercise. Vitamin E enhances cellular respiration of muscle cells. Influences many biochemical metabolic effects favourably.
  • Musculoskeletal: antioxidant properties preserve osteoblasts integrity; improve the strength and function of cartilage and connective tissue. Prevent muscle damage from excess free-radical damage.
  • Stress: Vitamin E, like Vitamin C, concentrates in the adrenal glands, but concentrates even more in the pituitary gland.

 Vitamin E Clinical Applications

  • Cardiovascular disease: reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease from 32% of the population to 3% of the population after consumption of at least 400 IU of Vitamin E for at least two years. Reduces hypertension, prevents abnormal blood clotting, inhibits platelet aggregation, prevents angina, intermittent claudication.
  • Gynaecological conditions: dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal hot flashes, infertility, fibrocystic breast disease, helps to prevent preeclampsia, miscarriage.
  • Epilepsy (children): In a double-blind trial, administration of 400 lU/day reduced seizure frequency by at least 60% in 10 of 12 children with epilepsy, whereas none of 12 children in the placebo group showed that degree of improvement.
  • Hepatitis (chronic): Of 12 patients with hepatitis B treated with 600 IU/day of vitamin E for 9 months, 5 had a complete response, compared with none of 12 in an untreated control group. In 6 patients with hepatitis C refractory to interferon therapy, vitamin E (1,200 IU/day for 8 weeks) appeared to prevent hepatic fibrosis.
  • Autoimmune disease: Vitamin E may have value in the overall management of autoimmune disease, possibly by stabilising lysosomal membranes or by reducing the production of antigenic molecules such as oxidized LDL or glycosylated proteins (theoretical considerations and uncontrolled trials).
  • Osteoarthritis: Vitamin E has a mild anti-inflammatory effect and has been shown to relieve symptoms in 2 short-term controlled trials that used 600 and 1,800 IU/day, respectively, but showed no effect in another controlled trial.
  • Immunity: Vitamin E enhances indexes of T-cell mediated function, without adverse effects. Enhances resistance to viral diseases.
  • Diabetes: significant reduction in LDL oxidation, but no significant effect on lowering plasma glycosolated protein or glycosolated hemoglobin in diabetics.

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