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Does vitamin E help osteoarthritis?

Dr. Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. French scientists showed that 6 weeks of vitamin E supplementation in mice reduced the progression of bone and cartilage destruction, when compared with mice that were not given supplements.

German physicians showed that supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin E daily for 6 weeks reduced pain twice as much as a placebo. Another study found that 400 IU per day of vitamin E relieved arthritis pain symptoms more effectively than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

One part of the Framingham study showed that people who consumed 6-11 mg of vitamin E daily were significantly less likely to experience progression of arthritis of the knee than were people who consumed 2-5 mg. These dosages are much lower than usually given; vitamin E toxicity has been seen at doses of 3,000 IU per day for more than 7 weeks.

The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

More About this Book

The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

According to conventional wisdom, arthritis pain is an inevitable part of aging. Not so, says Dr. Grant Cooper in this practical, accessible guide. For those who do develop osteoarthritic conditions,...

At this point, we highly doubt it. Some studies have found that vitamin E supplements may help reduce symptoms in people with osteoarthritis but others have not. So we give it an E for effort, but not for evidence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.