Side effects of vitamin E supplementation

Vitamin E is a popular dietary supplement in men and women. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against diseases, for this reason, supplementation through capsules or drops is popular.

The recommended daily amount of vitamin E for adults is 15 milligrams (mg) a day. A supplement of 400 units of vitamin E is equivalent to 360 mg of vitamin E.

Foods containing vitamin E are safe to take. Foods rich in vitamin E include almond nuts, peanuts, cooking oils, meats, and leafy greens.

In a research study by Klein et al, 34,887 men were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: 8752 to received selenium; 8737 received vitamin E; 8702 received both agents, and 8696 received a placebo.

The result of the study showed that the group of healthy men who took vitamin E in excess of 400 units per day had significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer.

In another study, 118 765 participants (59 357 randomized to vitamin E and 59 408 to placebo) were looked at for the impact of vitamin E. What they found was that vitamin E increased the risk for hemorrhagic stroke by 22% and reduced the risk of ischaemic stroke by 10%.

The authors concluded that the risk of hemorrhagic stroke from vitamin E supplementation in adults outweighs the benefits.

In conclusion, healthy men should avoid excessive doses of vitamin E above 400 units per day through the use of supplements.

Healthy adults should limit vitamin E supplementation to no more than 400 units per day.

Image of random capsules from GoDaddy stock photos


Klein EA , et al. (n.d.). Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

Schürks M , et al. (n.d.). Effects of vitamin E on stroke subtypes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from


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