Layla, from Derek and the Dominos, topped the charts. The Beatles broke up. The United States invaded Cambodia. Midnight Cowboy won the Oscar for Best Motion Picture.
January 1st, 1970 was also the date that cyclamates were taken off the market by the Food and Drug Administration because they were shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
But no one would come to the conclusion that honey from a bees nest would do the same, simply because it is also a sweetener.
Yet 41 years later, both the medical and popular press continue to do just that when it comes to a synthetic, petroleum-based molecule that's created from smashing together ingredients to create a witches' brew of active vitamin ingredients and bizarro, mirror images of the vitamin molecules that have no beneficial biological activity.
The offender is DL-alpha tocopherol. And it is the "L",¬† which stands for Levo or Left-handed, that let's you know you're dealing with this contaminant-laden mixture. It also goes by the confusing acronym, "all¬†racemic-tocopheryl acetate" which means it contains some beneficial right-handed racemers, and some pollutant left-handed racemers.
Oh, by the way, the other name for this molecule is Synthetic Vitamin E.
The ugly brother continues to drag down the pristine reputation of Natural Vitamin E, which is lovingly derived from healthy plant oils.
The latest tale of worry was a study in the normally responsible Journal of the American Association, which stated that taking high doses of Vitamin E could increases a man's risk of developing prostate cancer by 17%. Unusually, the findings came from a trial which was attempting to prove just the opposite.
Of course, combing through the Methods section of the study, we found that the scientists were using You Know Who -- Ugly Brother Petroleum-Based Synthetic Vitamin E!
Two earlier research papers looked at a large number of men taking vitamin E supplements and each came to different conclusions on how vitamin E affects prostate cancer.
In 2003, data from the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta ‚ÄìCarotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Trial showed that study participants taking vitamin E had a 32 percent reduction in prostate cancer. And in the Physicians Health Study II, participants took the same amount of vitamin E as the men in the Select trial but it had no effect on their risk of prostate cancer.
A report last year published in the International Journal of Cancer showed that a form of vitamin E called gamma tocotrienol ¬†‚Äústopped tumors forming in more than 70 percent of mice ‚Ä¶implanted with the cancer cells.‚Äù ¬†Tumors developed in 100 percent of the mice in the control group.
The medical literature is replete with studies showing that natural vitamin E is helpful for a wide variety of health conditions, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular disease, cancer prevention, Alzheimer‚Äôs and eye health.
Our advice about Vitamin E? Consult with your doctor if you take Coumadin (warfarin), since prothrombin times can be affected when you are on that medication. And seek out supplement manufacturers who use natural forms of Vitamin E in their formulations, without the "L" or "All Racemic" in the chemical name.*
Paul Krawitz, M.D., President
Vitamin Science, Inc.