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The Selection and Therapeutic Use of Vitamin E

Vitamin E Uses



Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, and is remarkably safe. Doctors have given quantities as high as 3200 International Units (IU) per day harmlessly. This is over 100 times the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). 

The natural, best form of vitamin E is called "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 evidence that the natural "D" (dextro-, or right-handed) molecular form of vitamin E is more useful to the body than is the synthetic. The natural form is also more expensive, but not all that much more. In choosing a vitamin E supplement, you should carefully read the label... the entire label. It is remarkable how many natural-looking brown bottles with natural-sounding brand names contain a synthetic vitamin. 


According to Wilfrid Shute, M.D. and Evan Shute, M.D., Vitamin E in quantity has many benefits. One is an oxygen-sparing effect on heart muscle.  Another benefit is that Vitamin E helps to gradually break down blood clots in the circulatory system, and helps prevent more from forming. Vitamin E encourages collateral circulation in the smaller blood vessels of the body. It seems to promote healing with the formation of much less scar tissue. Vitamin E helps strengthen and regulate the heartbeat. 

The above benefits, say the Shutes, mean that vitamin E is important in the treatment of many diseases of the circulatory system. These cardiologists 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. That's quite a list, to which they soon added diabetes and burns as well. 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. Their success cannot be easily dismissed. 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. 

Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute give dosage information in their excellent books, many of which are readily available at bookstores, health food stores, and your public library. Be sure to ask the librarian and to use interlibrary loan if you have any trouble finding a book. Since the effective dose of vitamin E varies with the individual condition, it is always a good idea to have medical supervision. 


Persons with high blood pressure need to increase their daily amount of vitamin E gradually, say the Shutes. This is because the vitamin increases the strength of the heartbeat, and a gradual increase of E avoids 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. 

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 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. 


Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

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