Can Vitamin E Make You Sick?

By Dr. Rick Morris

Vitamin E, along with Vitamin’s C and A, and supplements such as bioflavinoids, Coenzyme Q10, Ginkgo and even Melatonin (a hormone from our pineal gland) are considered anti-oxidants. That means that they slow down the damage that oxygen does to our bodies. Oxygen rusts metal and has a similar effect on all living cells. Obviously, without it we’d die within a few minutes, but because of it arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease and even cancer become a natural product of aging.

As I just said, oxygen degenerates and kill’s cells. In fact, “oxygen burst” given off by our white blood cells, kills many foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses and are necessary for a healthy immunity. This paradox has made us question the effect antioxidants might have on our ability to fight infections.

3 of the 4 largest studies have shown that Vitamin E, when taken in doses over 200 IU DECREASE our bodies ability to fight disease. This same effect has not been shown with the other antioxidants, although excess vitamin A has been shown to increase the likelihood of bone fractures and birth defects.

Before you toss your vitamins in the wet, round file (the toilet), vitamins A and E are different then most others because they are oil soluble. Because of that, they store in the body and cannot be eliminated when in excess. Most of the others can. In fact, those of us who consume the higher levels of these antioxidants have the lowest rate of heart disease, cancer and stroke. The top 3 causes of death facing Americans.


  1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains (they are naturally high in these antioxidants and are not associated with negative side effects.
  2. Take a GOOD, COMPLETE multivitamin/mineral (such as Multigenics from Metagenics or All In One’s Multivitamin/mineral) that has between 30-100 IU of d-alpha tocopheryl (the best form of vitamin E) and 15,000 IU of beta carotene (the best form of vitamin A) and no more than 5,000 IU of vitamin A from other sources.
  3. Other antioxidants which are water-soluble are not of great concern and will be talked about in future newsletters.



Rick H. Morris, D.C., C.C.S.P., Q.M.E., A.B.A.A.H.P.
Brendan M. Murray, D.C., D.A.C.B.S.P., Q.M.E.

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