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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Oregon State: Fatty Foods Necessary for Vitamin E Absorption, But Not Right Away

A fresh look at how to best determine dietary guidelines for vitamin E has produced a surprising new finding: Though the vitamin is fat soluble, you don’t have to consume fat along with it for the body to absorb it.

“I think that’s remarkable,” says the study’s corresponding author, Dr. Maret Traber of Oregon State University, a leading authority on vitamin E who’s been researching the micronutrient for three decades. “We used to think you had to eat vitamin E and fat simultaneously. What our study shows is that you can wait 12 hours without eating anything, then eat a fat-containing meal and vitamin E gets absorbed.”

The study was published today in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Vitamin E, known scientifically as alpha-tocopherol, has many biologic roles, one of which is to serve as an antioxidant, says Dr. Traber, a professor in the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and Dr. Ava Helen Pauling, professor at Oregon State’s Linus Pauling Institute.

Federal dietary guidelines call for 15 milligrams of vitamin E daily (by comparison, 65-90 milligrams of vitamin C are recommended). The new research could play a role in future vitamin E guidelines.

“There’s increasingly clear evidence that vitamin E is associated with brain protection, and now we’re starting to better understand some of the underlying mechanisms,” Dr. Traber says.

In this latest study, Dr. Traber and collaborators used a novel technique involving deuterium-labeled vitamin E, administered both orally and intravenously, to study fractional vitamin E absorption in a group of non-obese, non-diabetic women ages 18-40 with normal blood pressure.

Full article and additional findings.

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