High-dose vitamin E is a strong partner in the treatment of inflammatory joint diseases such as gout, osteoarthritis or arthritis. This was the result of an EMNID survey of 100 rheumatologists from Germany in 2006. 80 percent of the physicians surveyed use the fat-soluble vitamin for the treatment of patients with inflammatory joint complaints. Vitamin E neutralizes free oxygen radicals, which play a destructive role in inflammatory joint diseases, suppresses inflammation and relieves pain.
Four out of five rheumatologists use the vitamin in high doses starting at 400 international units, one in five even treat the disease exclusively with vitamin E. The majority of respondents (69 percent) used the fat-soluble vitamin mainly in combination with so-called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAR). NSAIDs are anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs that do not contain cortisol.
The effect of these drugs is given, but it can cause severe side effects in the gastrointestinal area. Therefore, doctors dose these anti-inflammatory drugs as low as possible. Experienced rheumatologist Professor Johann D. Ringe from Leverkusen Hospital says: "Complementary therapy with high-dose vitamin E is a good way to lower the dose of NSAIDs and significantly increase the quality of life for patients."
Positive therapy results
Three out of four rheumatologists rated the therapeutic success of vitamin E as "good" (28 percent) or "satisfactory" (49 percent). The opinions of their patients describe the doctors similarly: Almost 80 percent of the patients told their therapist that the therapy with 400 to 1, 000 IU of vitamin E daily had "good" or "satisfactory" effect.
Increased vitamin E requirement in joint diseases
The potential of vitamin E for the treatment of rheumatic diseases has been demonstrated in a variety of clinical studies. It used vitamin E at doses between 600 and 1600 IU over a period of three weeks to three years. There are indications of significant pain-relieving effects and improved mobility from these studies.
The study results are confirmed by practical experience. Dr. Wolfgang Brückle, chief physician at the Rheumatism Clinic Bad Nenndorf and specialist speaker of the German Rheumatism League, explains why: "Studies have shown that patients with inflammatory joint diseases have a higher need for vitamin E and are therefore often undersupplied." Due to the chronic arthritis disease, more and more vitamin E in the joint is consumed, according to findings from a clinical study carried out in 2010 at the Siriraj University Hospital in Bangkok.
Vitamin E also plays a role in the degenerative diseases, the arthrosis, in which a large part of the pain is caused by so-called activated arthrosis, resulting in irritation in the joint caused by the abraded cartilage, which then leads to local inflammation and finally further pain Vitamin E can help break this cycle. "
Vitamin E from natural sources
For targeted prevention as well as therapy, many experts recommend vitamin E from natural sources, as the body can absorb it twice as well as the synthetic variant. Rich in natural vitamin E, for example, vegetable oils, hazelnuts, raspberries and savoy cabbage. The Latin name for vitamin E is tocopherol, the Greek letter α (pronounced alpha) is put forward. The synthetic form is called dl-α-tocopherol.
The natural form of vitamin E is d-α-tocopherol (sometimes also RRR-α-tocopherol). A single small letter thus indicates a big difference in the effect.
Source: EMNID survey "Experiences with high-dose vitamin E", N = 100 registered rheumatologists, June 2006