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What are the risks of taking vitamin E? continued...

Vitamin E supplements might be harmful when taken in early pregnancy. One study found that women who took vitamin E supplementation during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy had a 1.7 to nine-fold increase in congenital heart defects. The exact amount of vitamin E supplements used by pregnant women in this study is unknown.

A large population study showed that men using a multivitamin more than seven times per week in conjunction with a separate vitamin E supplement actually had a significantly increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

The American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including vitamin E, by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than from supplements. If you are considering taking a vitamin E supplement, talk to your health care provider first to see if it is right for you.

What are the side effects of taking vitamin E?

Topical vitamin E can irritate the skin. 

Overdoses of vitamin E supplements can cause nausea, headache, bleeding, fatigue, and other symptoms. It can also cause kidney failure.

People who take blood thinners or other medicines should not take vitamin E supplements without first talking to their health care provider.


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