The most important of the fat-soluble vitamins for emotional health is vitamin E. It exerts a powerful influence on the cell membrane and the cell’s utilization of oxygen. The brain cells are particularly dependent on a ready supply of oxygen. Also, vitamin E is an aid in hydrogen ion transfers, and thus again affects every cell in the body.
Probably the world’s greatest authorities on vitamin E are the Shute brothers in Canada. He says that in his opinion most vitamin E preparations in the United States are not reliably labeled, and that one cannot be certain how much vitamin E one is getting unless one uses a reliably labeled product. He recommended the Key-E products put out by the Carlson Laboratories in Chicago.
The Shute brothers are primarily interested in vitamin E for its cardiovascular effect, especially its use to prevent coronary artery disease and ameliorate angina pectoris.. Those of us interested in mega-vitamin therapy for emotional disorders have found it equally useful. It is particularly helpful for patients who are depressed and tired two very common complaints among persons suffering from emotional illnesses.
Vitamin E has been used extensively for menopausal symptoms, and can often substitute for hormone therapy in women. It probably aids sexual function in the male. Patients are treated with multiple vitamins, nutritional supplements, and specific dietary recommendations so when an impotent male becomes potent, it is hard to say which of the elements of his regimen was responsible for his return to the .sexual arena. I can only say that, if I had a potency problem, I would certainly include vitamin E in my regimen. Some men get the best results when they take 1600-2400 units on an empty stomach one or two hours before having sex.
Unfortunately, vitamin E is one vitamin that can cause difficulties. When I first started taking it, I was unable to take more than 150 units daily without raising my blood pressure. Ordinarily, my blood pressure runs around 110 over 70, but whenever I took more than 150 units of vitamin E it quickly rose to 140 over 90, to the accompaniment of a sizable headache. It took me at least two years to gradually raise my vitamin E intake to its present level of two Key-E capsules of 200 I.U. (international units) at breakfast and lunch.
Although the Shute brothers maintain that the D. Alpha tocopherol is the only active form of vitamin E, I still take a 400 1. U. E-complex tablet in addition to the Key-E. This E-complex (or mixed tocopherol) tablet contains the D-Alpha as well as the Beta, Delta, and Gamma tocopherols as they occur in nature. I consider this mixture added insurance, just in case we do not yet have the final word on all its active principles. As more added insurance I also take 800 I.U. of Alpha-tocopheral acetate at lunch.
It is my feeling that everyone should take vitamin E supplements in amounts of at least 100 or 200 I.U. a day, and possibly much more for instance; if menopausal symptoms are present, or if there is depression and lack of energy. Some of my patients take as much as 4200 I.U. daily and feel the let-down as soon as they reduce their dose level.
Vitamin E should not be taken more than twice daily, since it interferes with iron absorption. Take vitamin E with breakfast and lunch. This leaves your gut free to absorb iron later in the day. Your family doctor should make certain your blood pressure does not go up too high as you increase your vitamin E. If your blood pressure does increase, it often normalizes if you stay on the same dosage level of vitamin E for several weeks. Your elevated blood pressure will fall quickly if you interrupt your vitamin E intake for a few days and then go back to a reduced level.