The links between vitamin E and immunity have been known for a long time and in a positive way. Vitamin E is more concentrated in immune cells than in any other cell in the body, but it protects them all against oxidation – damage linked to a weakened immune response. In addition, by “thinning” the blood, it makes it easier for immune cells to move around the body.
But beware! People taking blood thinners (Coumadin, aspirin, or garlic capsules) should seek the advice of their doctor before taking vitamin E supplements, as their combined effect can cause excessive bleeding.
Researchers at Tufts University in Boston studied the cases of 88 people aged 65 and over who took 60 mg, 200 mg, 800 mg of vitamin E or a placebo every day for almost eight months. Result? According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, immune function increased in the three treatment groups. But the 200mg dose gave the best results – an improvement of 65p. One hundred of the measurement of an immune function (the delayed dermatological response of hypersensitivity) as well as greater production of antibodies after vaccination against hepatitis B and tetanus. Since the 800 mg dose did not give better results, it is believed that the 200 mg dose is sufficient.
The recommended dose and nutritional intake (ANR): 13 international units (IU) for men and 10 IU for women. These are minimum doses. Several specialists opt for an optimal dose of almost 400 IU. Research has clearly established, however, that an excessive dose – 1,500 IU or more – has the opposite effect: it suppresses immunity.
Is natural vitamin E better than synthetic?
There is usually no difference between natural and synthetic vitamins, but vitamin E is an exception. According to studies, natural E (d-alpha-tocopherol) is better absorbed and retained by the body than synthetic.