Ken C
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Vitamin E supplements are unwise for myeloma patients

Ken C
Posted by
05 Mar 2012

A leading UK expert says myeloma patients should not take vitamin E supplements after new research suggests this supplement may lead to reduction in bone mass.

A study, featured on the BBC website shows that large doses of vitamin E reduces bone density.

The study showed that vitamin E supplements may interfere with the process that keeps bones healthy: osteoclasts are cells which normally remove bone;  this is balanced by production of new bone by cells called osteoblasts.

Myeloma causes an imbalance between osteoblast bone formation and osteoclast bone destruction, which leads to a reduced bone mass.

The research suggested that large amounts of vitamin E could encourage the formation of osteoclast cells, which meant more bone would be lost than laid down. But the researchers stressed that the amounts of vitamin E present in a healthy diet are not harmful and this is not a reason for anyone to change their eating habits.

Vitamin E is found in cooking oil, green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli as well as almonds and hazelnuts.

A leading UK expert said: "We don't yet know the significance of this research, but if you have got myeloma it would be sensible not to take vitamin E supplements."

The amounts given in the study were equivalent to the content of vitamin E supplements. According to the paper, published in Nature Medicine, about 10% of all Americans take vitamin E supplements daily.

Ken – Science Communications Team