No Danger from Vitamin E and C

May 23, 2005

Many of the worlds reknown scientist state that vitamin E and C are safe to take, even in high dosages. At the same time, the theory that the two vitamins prevent chronic illnesses, is still very much alive.

A number of world-leading researchers in vitamin E and vitamin C have concluded that the two antioxidants are completely safe over a very wide dose range. Thus, they reject claims to the opposite which are expressed in particular to the public, and to a lesser degree to the scientific community.

The article draws attention to the hypothesis that antioxidants reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, certain types of cancer, calcification of the coronary arteries of the heart, etc. – is still very viable. Although obvious deficiency diseases are rare in the Western world, low intake can accelerate more indicators of aging. This may at least be due in part to inadequate protection against free oxygen radicals.


By: Vitality Council

Hathcock JN et al. Vitamins E and C are safe across a broad range of intakes. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:736-45.

Depressed Due to Vitamin Deficiency?

April 11, 2005

Several reports show a connection between depression and Vitamin E deficiency. There is a similar relation between depression and lack of Vitamin C and selenium. So far this gives food for thought.

Could it be that lack of vitamin E plays a role in depression? Something in that direction according to a preliminary Australian survey.

By: Vitality Council

1. Owen AJ et al. Low plasma vitamin E levels in major depression: Diet or disease? Eur J Clin Nutr 2005;59:304-6.
2. Tiemeier H et al. Vitamin E and depressive symptoms are not related. The Rotterdam Study. J Affect Disord 2002;72:79-83.
3. Maes M et al. Lower seriúm vitamin E concentration in major depression. Another marker of lowered antioxidant defense in that disease. J Affect Disord 2000;58:241-6.
4. Benton D et al. The impact of selenium supplementation on mood. Biol Psychiatry 1991;29:1092-8.

Listen to this: Vitamins Preserve the Hearing!

February 3, 2005

Studies with guinea pigs and American soldiers show that large doses of the vitamins C and E prevent chronic hearing impairment caused by noise. The conclusion is important, as every tenth grown-up has impaired hearing.

Do you have difficulties hearing? If so, the cause might be a vitamin deficiency. This is the result of a study carried out at the renowned Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden – the hospital is known throughout the world for being the place in which the staff scientists decide who gets the annual Nobel Prize for medicine.

The study showed that if the guinea pigs were given large doses of the vitamins C and -E before and after a violent noise impact, they would avoid the chronic hearing impairment that would otherwise be the result. Studies of American soldiers at target practice have shown similar results.

Impaired hearing is more common than you would probably think. 10% of all adults have so serious hearing difficulties that it affects their everyday communication. The prevalence increases with age, but many people become hearing impaired when they are young if they have a liking for violent music or if they have some sort of genetic predisposition for being sensitive to noise.

Professor Mats Ulfendahl from The Center for Hearing and Communication Research at the Karolinska University Hospital is behind the study. It was based on the knowledge that noise produces free oxygen radicals in the sensory cells of the inner ear and that these radicals are responsible for destroying the sensory cells.

For this reason, it was logical to try to limit the damage by supplying antioxidants to the guinea pigs. Ulfendahl presented the results at a congress about hearing impairment at the Karolinska University Hospital in September 2004.

Mats Ulfendahl is among the world’s leading researchers in hearing impairment and, among other things, he has demonstrated that there are stem cells in the inner ear that can develop into mature auditory- and neve cells. He believes that this discovery can imply that during the next 10 – 20 years, people suffering from aquired deafness can have their hearing restored. If he is right, it is hardly unlikely that his colleagues at the Karolinska University Hospital will nominate him for the Nobel Prize.

At present, there is no method for repairing damaged auditory cells in humans. Birds, however, automatically regenerate their hearing when they become deaf as a result of a noise injury. The thought of restoring hearing, therefore, is not fundamentally impossible. If you are considering some kind of prophylaxis before going to a disco, for example, it would probably be a good idea to consider taking a megadose vitamin supplement.

By: Vitality Council

This time we do not refer to a scientific article, but an online introduction by a Swedish professor and a speech (in Swedish), which you may listen to directly at the web addresses below:
1) Can vitamins really soothe impaired hearing? ( Kan verkligen vitaminer lindra hörselnedsättning? )
2) Take a vitamin pill and then listen! ( Ta en vitamin och hör sen! )

New Knowledge on the Spreading of Cancer

January 5, 2005

Research at the Finsen Institute explain how cancer tumours metastasize. The results may be of vital importance to the treatment of cancer and could give e.g. Vitamin C a central role.

A fundamental and unpleasant characteristic of cancer tumours is their ability to make metastases; cancer cells work loose from the original tumour and wander with the lymph or blood to the liver, lungs, bones, or brain. Here, they will settle and make new, independent tumours. Of course, this unfortunate process makes it incredibly difficult to completely cure the disease.

So – how can the metastasizing be prevented? More than ten years ago, the German-American M.D. Matthias Rath and the Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling made a joint hypothesis on this subject. They believed that a condition for metastases to be made was that the cancer cells should first make enzymes which break down the material and connective tissue that surrounds all cells like mortar around bricks.

The enzymes are necessary for both the ability of the cancer cells to break away from the original tumour and for them to penetrate healthy cells and install themselves in another organ.

The two scientists were particularly fastened upon a precursor (uPA) to the enzyme plasmin which partly breaks down the protein substance fibrinogen, and parly is involved in indirectly breaking down connective tissues etc.

They claimed that cancer patients could greatly benefit from particularly large doses of vitamin C, supplements of the amino acid Lysine, and the antioxidants (Epigallocatechin) in green tea. According to the two scientists, all these things would reduce the formation of uPA and thereby counteract metastasizing.

Now, at least the first part of the theory seems to hold water according to studies at the Danish Finsen Institute in Copenhagen. For more than five years, they have had a special interest in the very uPA enzymatic system, albeit without entering into the mentioned possibilities in regard to medical treatment. At least 15 articles regarding uPA have been published from this institute since 1999.

Most recently, a study of mice that was published in the International Journal of Cancer has aroused international interest. In six cases out of seven, it showed that genetically modified mice who had been made incapable of producing uPA did not form any metastases. The mice were doing fine without the enzyme. It seems, therefore, that the cancer needs this enzyme far more than does the healthy organism.

The perspective is, of course, that by inhibiting the uPA system, the cancer can be kept under control and medicine with strong side effects can be avoided. Both domestic and foreign research now carry conviction that the first part of the theory of Matthias Rath and Linus Pauling holds water. It strengthens the presumption – but unfortunately does not give proof – of the second part of the theory being right as well.

By: Vitality Council

2) Almholt K, Johnsen M. Stromal cell involvement in cancer. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2003;162:31-42.
3) Rockway TW, Giranda VL. Inhibitors of the proteolytic activity of urokinase type plasminogen activator. Curr Pharm Des. 2003;9(19):1483-98.

Vitamin C Can Protect the Heart

December 20, 2004

A new meta-analysis was published some weeks ago with the positive conclusion that high doses of Vitamin C can reduce the risk of coronary thrombosis (blood clots) in the heart by 25%.

Nine scientific studies with a total of 290,000 people who did not suffer from cardiac disease were thoroughly analysed by a group of researchers from several large centres in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Israel, and the USA.

In this group, during the course of ten years, approx. 4600 large coronary thromboses were discovered. Then, various factors that could influence this result were analysed.

Documentation that large amounts of fruit and vegetables reduce this cardiovascular risk is vast, and therefore, it was important to the researchers to distinguish between the ones who had only received their vitamins through their diet and the ones who had supplemented their diet with dietary supplements.

The research group found out that a daily dietary supplement with a high dose of Vitamin C with large statistic certainty (p<0.001) could reduce the risk of coronary thrombosis with 25% compared to the ones who did not take any supplements.

The dose of vitamin C to take for this reduced risk to set in was more than 700 mg. a day. This more or less equals the amount of Vitamin C that can be found in: 15 fresh oranges, 35 fresh apples, 75 fresh bananas, or ½ kg. of fresh blackcurrant. These amounts of fruit should be eaten every day – so there must be an easier way!

Moreover, the analysis confirms the results of a study that was made earlier this year that showed that Vitamin C reduces hs-CRP (high-sensitive C-reactive protein), which is a blood test that can predict the cardiac risk in a much more secure way than any cholesterol values in the world.

The analysis could only give weak support to the hypothesis that Vitamin E reduces the risk of coronary thrombosis. This result was not statistically certain.

By: Vitality Council

Knekt P, Heitmann Berit L, Augustsson Katarina et al: Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (vol. 80, issue 6, pp1508-1520, 2004).

Vitamins Prevent Sport-related Attrition

August 23, 2004

Strenuous and exhausting physical exercise is not beneficial to your health, as it may result in damage to both the DNA (hereditary material) and the cell walls through the process of oxidation.

Vigorous and exhausting physical exercise is not beneficial to your health. The oxidation that takes place during this kind of exercise both damages the DNA (our hereditary material) and destroys the cells walls.

Actually, a general attrition takes place similar to the one our body is exposed to during an operation, a heart attack, or another kind of violent strain. The proofs of the damages can be found in blood samples and urine tests.

However, a new study has shown that a lot of the damages can be prevented in athletes if they take a supplement of the vitamins E and -C before demanding performances. Both of the vitamins are antioxidants, i.e. they prevent the unintentional oxidation of the cell walls and thereby the destruction of the cellular functions.

Many athletes take supplements but proof of the supplements actually working have now been established in a thorough study of American ultramarathon runners.

The study was carried out in a scientific sports institute under Oregon State University. Starting six weeks prior to the long 50 km. (31 miles) race, 11 out of the 22 participants each took 1 g. of vitamin C and 400 I.U. of vitamin E every day while the other 11 participants were given placebo. Both before and after the race a number of tests were performed on both groups.

It turned out that the vitamins completely prevented the fats in the cell walls from going rancid (oxidation) both during and after the race. In the men who had not taken vitamins, the consequences of the exertions were measurable for at least six days while they were non-existent in the ones who had been given vitamins. Interestingly, the women got off lighter in that their tests were only elevated for a couple of hours after the race even though they had not taken any supplements.

The spokesperson for the researchers is professor Maret Traber. With a background including several honorary tasks and more than 160 scientific articles, she is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of Vitamin E.

Based on the study, she declared that if you suffer from chronic health problems, you may very well benefit from larger doses of the two vitamins than what is normally recommended. In this context, she mentions diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiac diseases, but also overweight and smoking. They are all conditions involving increased rancidity of the fats in the cell walls.

By: Vitality Council

Mastaloudis A., Morrow JA, Hopkins DW, Devaraj S, Traber M. Antioxidant supplementation prevents exercise-induced lipid peroxidation, but not inflammation, in ultramarathon runners. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2004;36(10):1329-1341.

Vitamin C Prevents Hard Mucus and Dry Mucus Membranes

August 9, 2004

American science points towards Vitamin C being beneficial for those suffering from heavy mucus in the respiratory tract, e.g. asthmatics and others suffering from chronic sinusitis and/or chronic bronchitis.

The doctors from the Research Department at the Childrens Hospital in Oakland have shown that vitamin C is necessary for the formation of the liquid layer on the surface of the mucous membranes necessary for the functioning of the membranes. However, the optimal concentrations of vitamin C are so high that they may only be reached by local treatment of the mucous membranes with vitamin C in a spray form.

By: Vitality Council

Fischer H et al.: Vitamin C controls the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channel. Journal of the National Academy of Sciences 2004;101: 3691–3696.

Antioxidants Prevent Lung Cancer After All

August 4, 2004

Smokers taking a wide range of antioxidants through their diet, reduce their risk of getting lung cancer. This is demonstrated by a follow up study from a world famous research study (ATBC). The ATBC study has been the source of the opposite interpretation for ten years.

The startling result is sourced from the so called ATBC-study, a Finnish study from 1994, which demonstrated that the risk for male smokers getting lung cancer did not decrease, but increased, when they were given large dosages of betacarotene – the yellow colouring substance in carrots.

The ATBC study was a shock for researchers all over the world, who on the basis of numerous animal studies were convinced that antioxidants prevent cancer. Since then the ATBC study has been the standing argument for recurrent warnings against antioxidants on TV etc.

In the new study, staticians from the prestigious American Yale University together with Finnish colleages looked through 1,787 cases of lung cancer, approximately the amount of the 27,000 male heavy smokers in the ATBC group, who got lung cancer during the 14 years.

In the new study, measurements were taken not just for one single antioxidant, but for the total intake of the antioxidants selenium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C as well as coloured parts in plants, the so called carotenoids and flavonoids. The most updated inclusive index was calculated in advance stating the total antioxidant intake with just one figure.

It turned out that the fifth of the smokers, who had the highest index statisticly seen through their diet, had a 16% less risk of lung cancer! Smokers who ate large amounts of meat had a 25% decrease, despite of red meat having a high oxidative effect! This supports the fact that it was the antioxidative effect that made the difference.

It is not the first time such results are seen, but they are of great importance, because they are sourced from the same ATBC study, which has been one of the most outspoken arguments to warn against antioxidants. Two other larger studies has found the risk of lung cancer decreased up to as much as 32% and 68%.

The researchers emphasize in a commentary, that when the original study was a disappointment, the explanation may lie in the fact that smokers did not get a combination of vitamins etc., but were given betacarotene alone. They recommend smokers to always take a wide selection of antioxidants as a protection against cancer.

By: Vitality Council

1. Wright ME et al. Development of a comprehensive dietary antioxidant index and application to lung cancer risk in a corhort of male smokers. Am J Epidemiol 2004;160:68-76.
2. Yong LC et al.Intake og vitamins E, C and A and risk of lung cancer: The NHANES I epidemiologic follow-up study. Am J Epidemiol 1997;146:231-43.
3. Michaud DS et al. Intake of specific carotenoids and risk of lung cancer in 2 prospective US cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:990-7.

Nobel Prize Award Winner: Vitamin E and C Prevent Hardening of the Arteries!

July 13, 2004

The theory that antioxidants protects against arteriosclerosis and thereby cardiac thrombosis, brain haemorrhage, and more, is now supported by one of the World’s leading experts in the field.

By: Vitality Council


Ignarro L J et al. Long Term Beneficial Effects of Physical Training and Metabolic Treatment on Atherosclerosis in Hypercholesterolemic Mice. PNAS 2004.

You are Safe to Eat Fruit and Vegetables. No Basis for Over-interpretating scientific study

December 23, 2003

An observational study of 400 women having breast cancer compared with 400 women not having breast cancer has shown, that there is increased risk of Vitamin C intake by eating fruit and vegetables compared with Vitamin C intake by taking dietary supplements.

When we think about it a little bit, we know that it is healthy to eat fruit and vegetables, and so in the name of decency you have to check out such a study carefully.

The authors themselves write quite sensibly that its result is contrary to previous scientific studies about this and that it needs to be investigated further. – Fair enough.

By: Vitality Council

1. Intake of vitamins A, C and E from diet and supplements and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Cancer Causes and Control 2003;14:695-704. Oct. 2003.
2. Fish intake is positively associated with breast cancer incidence rate. J. Nutrition 2003;133:3664-3669. Nov. 2003.
3. Fruits and vegetable intake differentially affects estrogen receptor negative and positive breast cancer incidence rates. J. Nutrition 2003;133:2342-2347. July 2003.