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Metabolic syndrome increases the need for vitamin E

January 25 2017. An article appearing on January 11, 2017 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provides more evidence for a higher vitamin E requirement among people with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors that increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The research builds on findings reported in the November 2015 issue of the journal, in which Richard S. Bruno and colleagues had determined that vitamin E was less bioavailable in subjects with metabolic syndrome than healthy subjects.

In the current double-blind, crossover trial, Dr Bruno and his associates measured two breakdown products of deuterium-labeled vitamin E consumed by ten healthy adults and ten who had metabolic syndrome. They found those with metabolic syndrome eliminated less of the vitamin than the healthy subjects, indicating increased need, however, conventional blood tests showed levels that were similar to those of the healthy group.

“The research showed that people with metabolic syndrome need about 30-50 percent more vitamin E than those who are generally healthy,” reported lead author Maret Traber of the Linus Pauling Institute. “We’ve discovered that vitamin E levels often look normal in the blood, because this micronutrient is attracted to high cholesterol and fat. So vitamin E can stay at higher levels in the circulatory system and give the illusion of adequate levels, even as tissues are deficient. This basically means that conventional vitamin E blood tests as they are now being done are useless.”

“In previous work we showed that people with metabolic syndrome had lower bioavailability of vitamin E,” she noted. “Our current work uses a novel approach to measure how much vitamin E the body needs. This study clearly demonstrates that people with metabolic syndrome need a higher intake of this vitamin.”