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Vitamin E supplements may trigger osteoporosis

A team of researchers from Japan are claiming that vitamin E supplements are linked to the development of osteoporosis. Early stage studies on mice rev...

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|Mar 5|magazine8 min read

A team of researchers from Japan are claiming that vitamin E supplements are linked to the development of osteoporosis.

Early stage studies on mice revealed that large doses of the vitamin caused their bone mass to reduce and their bones to thin.

It also went on to cause the development of osteoporosis.

The team – from Keio University – are now calling for more research to be carried out, investigating the effects of vitamin E supplements in humans.

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The researchers believe vitamin E encourages the production of osteoclast cells, which strip away bone mass.

In humans, this contributes greatly to osteoporosis, which makes sufferers more vulnerable to fracturing their bones.

Although vitamin E is commonly found in a number of fruits and vegetables, most notably hazelnuts, broccoli, almonds and spinach, it is the high concentration of the vitamin in supplements that is the main concern.

Vitamin E supplements are very popular in the western world and it is estimated more than 10 percent of adults in the US take them.

Meanwhile there are suggestions millions of people in the UK take vitamin E too, as it is believed to be an antioxidant which can slow ageing and boost day-to-day health.

The findings of the research have now been published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Writing in the publication, the researchers said: ''In summary, we show that vitamin E stimulates bone resorption and decreases bone mass by inducing osteoclast fusion.

“Moreover, we provide evidence that serum vitamin E is a determinant of bone mass.

“Given the widespread use of vitamin E, and especially alpha-tocopherol, as a supplement in humans, a larger, controlled study that addresses its effects on human bone is warranted.”

The leader of the study, Shu Takeda, also discussed the research with Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun.

“It is possible that with the volume (of vitamin E) contained in health supplements, bones may become fragile,” he said.

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