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Question:

From West Palm Beach, Florida, USA:

I have two daughters, ages 10 and 14, with diabetes, and I have recently read about the benefits of taking vitamin E to help people with diabetes possibly prevent certain complications. I have read in some articles that say taking to high a dose may be dangerous, possibly thinning the blood to much and may interfere with clotting. I definitely want to start them on a daily regimen of vitamin E and would appreciate it if you can tell me an appropriate dose for their ages.

Answer:

Vitamin E, vitamin C, nicotinamide and alpha lipoic acid are all antioxidant food supplements which can be obtained without prescription in most supermarkets. Vitamin E especially has attracted especial interest as a means of combating the oxidative stress that seems to have a role in the development of vascular complications in diabetes. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for teenagers who are not on a diet high in unsaturated fat is between 8 and 30 IU/day depending on the authority. However, the studies that claimed a reduction in retinopathy and nephropathy have used amounts that are many times this, e.g. 1800 IU/day. Supplements for two months or so in amounts up to 3,200 IU/day do not seem to have been harmful, however.

In the August 1999 issue of Diabetes Care, a journal that would almost certainly be in any hospital library, there is an editorial on this theme which I think you should read because it ends up by pointing out that the studies to justify long term dietary supplementation with large doses of vitamin E have not yet been done.

DOB

DTQ-20010301161342
Original posting 7 Mar 2001
Posted to Alternative Therapies and Explanations

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
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