Alternative Medicine

Helpful Nutritional Supplements. Part 3

Vitamin C should be used with caution by persons with gout or kidney failure since it may cause uric acid stones in the former and calcium oxalate stones in the later. Clients over age 45 should be advised to stop taking vitamin C for at least 3 days if they are to undergo screening for colon cancer. Vitamin C supplement can interfere with the accuracy of this test.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that can protect experimental animals against some toxic substances. Vitamin E can help block the formation of nitosamines from substances found in tobacco smoke. Vitamin E also seems to protect both lung tissue and the vitamin A in your body from the effects of other oxidants in tobacco smoke. Vitamin E-deficient rats are more sensitive to damage by cigarette smoke.

Large amounts of vitamin E can help protect experimental animals from polluted air, probably because it protects the unsaturated fatty acids in the lung tissue from oxidation. Vitamin E also potentiates the tumor-inhibiting ability of the mineral selenium. Vitamin E may also help inhibit a precancerous breast condition in humans.

Vitamin E is a free radical scavenger. It neutralizes free radicals which could cause damage to other cells and tissues if vitamin E did not “soak them up.” Vitamin E may also protect against free radical damage to the cardiac muscles.

Vitamin E is generally considered safe in doses under 600 IU. Possible side effects of this vitamin include nausea, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, skin disorders and slow healing of cuts or burns.

Persons with high blood pressure, those taking anticoagulant drugs, and those with bleeding or clotting disorders should consult their physician before taking vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E supplements should be taken as part of a balanced vitamin/mineral preparation that includes selenium. Vitamin E should not be taken at the same time as birth control pills or inorganic iron supplements, as both can interfere with vitamin E activity.

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