Maret Traber is trying to set the record straight about the role of vitamin E.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the claims.
“Everyone needs a vitamin E supplement.”
“Vitamin E has no value in protecting people from disease.”
“We get all the vitamin E we need in a normal diet.”
Maret Traber, a scientist in OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute who has studied the vitamin most of her professional life, says research so far just scratches the surface about how the body absorbs vitamin E, what forms should be used, how they interact with the immune system and what role they play in cancer prevention.
“A lot of people out there make all kinds of wild claims about the value of vitamin E without having a solid scientific basis for what they say,” according to Traber.
With more than 170 scientific publications, including over 100 peer-reviewed articles, Traber is one of the world’s leading experts on vitamin E.
She stepped into the middle of the controversy when she disputed the recent claims of a 10-year study of women over 45 who took vitamin E. The scientists conducting the study reported that vitamin E was ineffective at preventing heart disease.
“I was so surprised when I read the study that they didn’t emphasize what I considered the most exciting finding in 10 years of vitamin E research,” Traber says. “The study shows that women over 65 years old had a 24 percent reduction in major coronary vascular events, a 34 percent reduction in heart attacks, and a 49 percent reduction in cardiovascular deaths.”
So while some say vitamin E could be dangerous and others claim it’s a panacea, Traber says more work needs to be done.
“We owe it to the public to do good research on these issues, find out the truth and then be honest about it. The potential value of vitamin E is just so important, we have to find out what the facts are.”
Maret Traber’s Linus Pauling Institute web page
Maret Traber’s College of Health and Human Sciences page
Results of Traber’s study of vitamin E and smoking