Cautious interpretation is essential

The meta-analysis to be published next January in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Volume 142, Issue 1) , suggests that mortality in people taking over 400 IU of Vitamin E a day is increased. The study, published electronicallyon the journal's website,re-analyses data from 19 clinical trials involving Vitamin E published between 1993 and 2004 and was undertaken by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

In the view of the Alliance for Natural Health, which represents doctors, practitioners, consumers and leading-edge companies with interests in sustainable healthcare and natural therapies, it is of paramount importance that the study results are interpreted with caution.

Scaremongering headlines, based largely on misinterpretations of the study, which have begun to appear today, do nothing to help the development of responsible self-care patterns in consumers which are urgently required in the face of escalating heart disease and cancer rates.

Limitations of the study

In a widely circulated press release publicising the study, Dr Edgar Miller, lead author of the meta-analysis at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, claims that