The Pro-Oxidant Activity of High-Dose Vitamin E Supplements in Vivo
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A recent meta-analysis has demonstrated that the regular administration of high-dose vitamin E supplements may be associated with increased mortality. The biological mechanism for this effect is uncertain.
A ferrous oxidation xylenol assay was used to assess plasma oxidation activity levels in samples from a randomized, placebo-controlled, 6-week trial of daily vitamin E supplementation in adults with asthma (n = 72).
Results and conclusion
27% increase in plasma oxidation activity levels was observed in patients receiving vitamin E. We demonstrate a pro-oxidant effect of high-dose vitamin E supplementation that may explain the increase in mortality observed in intervention studies using this nutrient.