advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Vitamin E for Cold Prevention?
What's this I hear about vitamin E preventing colds? True?
A
Answer (Published 8/8/2005)

Originally Published 11/22/2004

Maybe so. Results of a study from Tufts University published in the August 18, 2004, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that a daily supplement of 200 IU of vitamin E protected a group of older people against the common cold.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

The researchers worked with 617 people age 65 and older who lived in one of 33 Boston-area long-term care facilities. Half of the participants received a capsule containing 200 IU of vitamin E ; half received a placebo containing 4 IU of vitamin E. The study lasted for a year before the researchers analyzed the results. They found that the participants who got the vitamin E were 20-percent less likely to develop respiratory infections and 22-percent less likely to develop colds than the participants who got the placebo. Since colds and other respiratory infections tend to be more severe and debilitating among the elderly than among the rest of the population, it is important to find a way for seniors to protect themselves.

The study findings may have implications for younger people, too: in an earlier study the same researchers found that vitamin E supplements improved immune responses among young men, although the difference wasn't as great as the change seen among the older people, possibly because immune function tends to decline as we age so that vitamin E may more effectively increase it.

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that - in addition to its effect on immune health - may also protect against the oxidative damage that can lead to heart disease. I recommend that everyone take daily supplements that include at least 80 mg of natural vitamin E complex, containing both tocopherols and tocotrienols. If you can't find that, look for a product with mixed natural tocopherols (400 to 800 IU daily). Avoid dl-alpha-tocopherol, the synthetic form. Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, it's best absorbed when taken with a meal containing some fat.

Andrew Weil, MD

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here