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Low-fat diet or vitamin E absorption? Walking the tightrope of heart disease prevention


Vitamin E supplements can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease; a low-fat diet can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease; but research at the University of Surrey has now shown that if a vitamin E supplement is taken with a low-fat meal, the absorption of the vitamin into the blood stream, and therefore its efficacy, is significantly reduced.

Dr John Lodge and his team discovered that the absorption of vitamin E into the blood stream was minimal when taken with only a glass of water or with cereal and semi-skimmed milk. The absorption rates were significantly higher when taken with cereal and full-fat milk or cream, and higher still when taken with a meal of toast and butter.

Dr Lodge comments, ‘This research is significant as it shows that people following a healthy, low-fat diet may not immediately be getting the same coronary protection as they might expect from their vitamin E supplements. However, this does not mean that I recommend people take up a higher fat diet, as further research needs to be done, and the levels of vitamin E and its protection can be achieved with a low-fat diet over a longer time frame, if you take the supplement on an ongoing basis.’

Stuart Miller | alfa
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