Most Vitamin E Claimed Useless

Jack Challem Jack_Challem at
Fri Dec 1 13:18:19 EST 1995

<<He said that if I can give him some journal references for 
the hydrolyzing in the stomach of the commonly used tocopheryl 
esters, he will publish the information. 
Can either of you (or any other reader) furnish such?  I'd 
love to see a retraction published in _Explore More_!>>

I've never seen Mort Walker publish a retraction. You might contact the
Townsend Letter for Doctors in Port Townsend, Washington, to get copies of
what Walker originally wrote for them...and the many responses his articles
generated. But what he's trying to do, in a cagey way, is send you on a paper
chase. One of the responses, I think from the Shute Institute in Canada
(which pioneered the therapeutic use of vitamin E), wrote that Walker had
mispresented the Shutes when he claimed they weren't getting results with
d-alpha tocopheryl acetate. I think the Shutes had more than 30,000 case
histories showing that the acetate worked. I'm sure if you dug deeply enough,
you'd find the chemistry papers to support hydrolizing. But I think repeated
clinical successes are just as valuable. If the vitamin E acetate didn't
work, the Shutes would not have become legends in their lifetimes. (By the
way, I knew the Shutes, and I'm regularly in touch with the current folks at
the Shute Institute, so this isn't hearsay.)

<<Wasn't the originally observed effect of vitamin E one of 
enabling normal reproductive functions in mammals?  Is this
just a result of the anti-oxidant effect, or is there some
receptor or biochemical reaction in the body that requires
tocopherol specifically?>>

Exactly. It was considered the "fertility" vitamin. Evan Shute got curious
about E when a Danish veterinarian named Vogt-Moller, in the early 1930s,
published a paper showing that E preventing spontaneous abortions. Vitamin E
appears to be somewhat of an estrogen antagonist, and progesterone is
involved in the fetal attachment to the womb.

Jack Challem
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