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Scientists Show How One Form Of Vitamin E Is Actually Bad For You

May 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Increased consumption of vitamin E-rich cooking oils – canola, soybean and corn – could be the culprit in the rising incidence of asthma, U.S. researchers report. Trouble is, it's the wrong kind of vitamin E. Depending on its chemical formula, vitamin E has significantly different effects on health. Gamma-tocopherol, found in corn, soy and canola oils, is linked with poor human lung function. But the alpha-tocopherol form found in olive and sunflower oils is linked to improved lung function. The study looked at lung function and vitamin E data gathered at intervals from 4,526 people over 20 years. A high level of gamma-tocoperol in the blood plasma was associated with a 10 to 17 percent reduction in lung function.
Marchese et al., "The vitamin E isoforms α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol have opposite associations with spirometric parameters: the CARDIA study ", Respiratory Research, May 20, 2014, © Marchese et al.
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