October 1, 2014 PDI Newsletter
Greetings to all PDI and DCI Warriors,
Welcome to this October 2014 PD Institute newsletter. This is my favorite time of year with the bright fall colors and cooling trend making for glorious days – the only thing wrong with Fall is that the days are getting too short to enjoy the season as I would like to do.
I trust all my friends continue to do well following their self-help plans. If you are not doing well, and not documenting obvious changes in the fibrous tissue mass that is the core of your problem, please contact me with your concerns and I will see if I can help you.
Make sure to click both of these buttons next time you are shopping for PDI or DCI supplements to find the different ways to save money. These buttons are on the left hand side of most pages when you enter as a “Returning Customer.”
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A large percent of medical doctors will suggest to their PD and DC patients that they should take a vitamin E supplement to attempt healing these two soft tissue problems. However, my guess is that perhaps 85-90% of the people I speak to about their PD and DC will say that their doctors told them to use vitamin E – but that is about as far as the help and information usually goes for the average patient.
From my perspective a problem develops when patients are not given enough information about what kind of vitamin E to take, how to take that vitamin E, and no background information about the absolute safety of taking a reasonable amount of vitamin E that can actually work to help their PD and DC problems. Merely taking “some vitamin E” haphazardly or occasionally does not seem to help these problems very much and will discourage people who could be helped from using it properly. To set the record straight I have laid out some solid information for using vitamin E effectively for Dupuytren’s contracture and Peyronie’s disease in this newsletter.
Doctors will typically suggest that only a small dosage of vitamin E be taken daily, perhaps in the 400-800 IU range, and not much more because of many years of controversy concerning the reported safety issues concerning high dosage of vitamin E. I believe this concern about vitamin E is not justified because it is based on a few poorly designed and improperly evaluated research studies that have tainted the information about this essential vitamin, as I will explain.
As you read this, you probably have doubts and concerns about taking too much vitamin E. Frequently people question me about the safety of taking any additional vitamin E, as though it was some kind of poison to be feared. It seems that from the news media the public has gotten the idea that taking any supplemental vitamin E, other than what occurs in the diet, can cause health problems and organ malfunction.
Compounding this problem, vitamin E is one of the most difficult vitamins to obtain through diet. The primary sources of vitamin E in the diet are soybeans, fish oil, nuts, wheat germ, sunflower oil and spinach. Now really, how many of us actually eat these particular foods daily on a frequent and consistent basis? While some people limit the soy in their diet, they inadvertently also limit the vitamin E. Even with the increased awareness of the importance of eating fatty fish like salmon and sardines, most people will probably not eat this kind of fish more than once or twice a month, and are just as unlikely to consume to many nuts, wheat germ, sunflower oil or spinach also. We might occasionally eat these foods, but I doubt if most people have any of these more than rarely. For this reason it is wise for the average person to supplement vitamin E, especially when treating both DC and PD. Many people think that vitamin E deficiency never occurs, yet of all the nutritional deficiencies that can occur, vitamin E deficiency is very common both in the United States and around the world. Some of the results of insufficient intake are not very noticeable, such as its impact on the nervous system and brain development, or general resistance to infection, but real nonetheless. It is estimated that only a very small percent of Americans consume enough dietary vitamin E to meet the recommended daily allowance, which is a number that is typically much lower than the amount needed for optimal health and healing to take place.
On the other hand, some experts have raised unnecessary alarms about excessive vitamin E intake when there are those who believe most people obtain insufficient amounts in their diet. This is where I run into many of the questions that people send to me. “Is it safe to take vitamin E supplements?”, as though vitamin E is so toxic that an actual threat to health would occur if someone were to take it in capsule form.
In a review of multiple studies published in Advances in Nutrition, researchers outlined some of the recent findings about vitamin E. The two most important findings are:
- There is a correlation between inadequate intake and dementia later in life. This explains why vitamin E is critical for the elderly population, which is the time when most DC and PD appears, as opposed to early adulthood.
- Vitamin E is critical during fetal development and in the first years of life for development of the nervous system. Because vitamin E is necessary for proper neurologic and brain development, it is especially critical for all children from infancy to age two, as well as pregnant women and nursing women.
Additional findings from these studies include:
- Vitamin E protects critical fatty acids such as DHA, and people with the highest DHA concentrations had a 47% reduction in the risk of developing all-cause dementia.
- Low vitamin E is associated with increased risk of infection, anemia, stunted growth and poor outcomes during pregnancy.
- Vitamin E deficiency, especially in children, can cause neurological disorders, muscle deterioration, and even cardiomyopathy.
- Higher vitamin E concentrations at birth were associated with improved cognitive function in two-year-old children.
- A lifelong dietary intake of higher levels of vitamins C, D, E and B complex were associated with a larger brain size and increased cognitive function.
While vitamin E is important all throughout our lives, proper intake through diet and supplementation appears to be of utmost importance for the elderly adult population as well as the very young.
Vitamin E – Peyronie’s and Dupuytren’s treatment
Each month we receive an order from one or two new customers who purchases only vitamin E. Often these are one-time orders; these people order their vitamin E only once and we never hear from that person again. When these orders appear I always assume it is from someone who has not taken the time to learn about correct Alternative Medicine treatment, and is simply following his MD’s suggestion to “try some vitamin E.”
Using vitamin E as a single therapy with no other support therapies to develop synergy, from my experience in over 13 years of work with Peyronie’s disease and Dupuytren’s contracture, is never effective. Even though I know that many of you folks were told by your family doctor to only take vitamin E in a small dose, only goes to show how little the average MD knows about nutrition and Alternative Medicine. For this reason I have made it a policy of PDI to always include a note with such an odd order to explain the limitation and problem of using vitamin E by itself.
I have talked to many of these customers who order only vitamin E to learn a bit more about their thinking, and how they come to believe this is all they have to do to recover from Peyronie’s disease or Dupuytren’s contracture. Usually these men and women tend to take their health for granted, they do not use Alternative Medicine for treating health problems and generally are not interested in knowing more about using nutritional treatment. They place their vitamin E order simply because they were told to do it.
During these conversations I will also learn that they are reluctant about taking vitamin E because they say “I recall hearing that taking vitamin E can be dangerous.” This is usually a minor objection that can be explained easily with the information from the PDI blog post, “Peyronie’s Disease Treatment and Vitamin E.” Once the facts are presented there is no real reason to be fearful about using vitamin E in general or in a well-designed treatment plan for PD.
Peyronie’s and Dupuytren’s vitamin E dosage
Vitamin E is the most commonly recommended non-drug treatment for these two problems, and very often it is the only non-drug treatment that will ever be discussed or considered.
Since vitamin E is available in both a synthetic form and a naturally occurring organic form, which form you use determines how much you can safely take. Eight different members of the vitamin E family, four known as tocopherols and four known as tocotrienols, make up the vitamin E family. A balanced diet – very difficult to achieve these days – contains all eight members of the vitamin E group. The most widely found member is known as gamma tocopherol, which works to eliminate nitrogen free radicals and is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent. Tocotrienols are primarily found in the skin and subdermis where they protect against UV and free radical damage.
Low cost vitamin E supplements contain only alpha tocopherol because it was thought that only this single part of the family of eight, and is the type most commonly used for DC and PD treatment. In fact, most vitamin E skin products contain a small amount of synthetic dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, and are often used as topical vitamin E lotions to soften the fibrous palm nodules or shaft scar. This means that they contain only one of the eight members of the vitamin E family in the less effective synthetic form. But only products which supply the complete vitamin E family and are particularly rich in gamma tocopherol and tocotrienols in their natural and unesterified form contribute to accelerated wound healing and minimized scarring. This is why PDI and DCI are insistent on people using a vitamin E therapy that is heavily slanted toward gamma tocopherol and all the tocotrienols, as with our Unique-E vitamin E product.
Peyronie’s and vitamin E controversy
Concern about vitamin E safety during the past decade or so has been due solely to bad publicity that arises from faulty research and unfair interpretation of good research, which has resulted in the perpetuation of questionable research and misunderstanding about vitamins.
First, vitamin E confusion arises from a particular medical report that ignores details of a particular flawed vitamin E study found in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Review this information to verify what I report is accurate: Those who took part in this vitamin E research often combined vitamin E with various drugs while they were being studied. All potential and actual adverse drug reactions that would commonly occur as a results of the different drug combinations that were being taken were not factored in or considered anywhere in the study results. All adverse reactions of the participants were assumed to be due to vitamin E, and not due to the drugs being taken in addition to the vitamin E.
In this same study all participants were elderly people, already being treated for a variety of chronic diseases; some were so ill as to be only months away from death. The critics of this research report this as a strong complicating issue, and puts suspicion on all conclusions because these elderly and sick people are far more likely to be taking high doses of vitamin E. They readily admit it is inaccurate to generalize these findings of this group to a healthy, normal, healthy or younger age group population.
This study was found to contain too many variables among the participants – age, body mass, history of past illnesses, presence of one or more current illnesses, variety of drug usage, and other complicating factors. It evaluated many different research studies, all of them used different procedures and protocols such as different vitamin E dosages administered for a widely variable amount of time. They admit they evaluated and combined data from sources that originated and were collected in different ways; they went beyond comparing apples and oranges; they compared grapes and bowling balls.
None of the studies reported took the time to consider or differentiate the immense chemical differences between natural and synthetic vitamin E that was being used by the study participants; both forms of vitamin E were considered as though it was the same. In fact, more people were taking synthetic vitamin E.
Within the scientific community the findings of the original research has been questioned and highly criticized. Unfortunately, the general public does not know these irregularities were going on in the background regarding this particular research. The average person just knows that someone said vitamin E can be bad for your health, even if it is not true.
Vitamin E safety
The Annals of Internal Medicine report states vitamin E has a relative risk of 1.05. A relative risk of 1.0 is actually a neutral finding. This 1.05 risk level is not clinically significant to establish an association between a fatal dose of a high dosage vitamin like vitamin E. Consider that water might have a relative risk of 1.05 in certain situations.
Before taking higher doses of vitamin E for therapeutic benefit, consult a health professional first who specializes in nutrition. Discuss your health concerns, possible vitamin E side effects, and what dosage of vitamin E might be best for you. Vitamin E can be deficient in many diets, especially for those following very low fat diets. Most nutrition experts agree that taking vitamin E supplements is safe.
Vitamin E study limitations and problems
Here is a summary of this study presented by those who conducted this study:
The evaluation of high-dosage vitamin E trials in which more than 400 IU of vitamin E was used was often too small to establish accuracy of findings. This study should not have included elderly patients with one or more chronic diseases, yet they were the primary participants. It is not clear how to generalize or compare the findings of this study conducted on ill and elderly people to a population of healthy adults. It is also not clear how to determine the exact dosage at which someone might be at risk of taking too much vitamin E based on this study using ill and elderly people.
In spite of these large obvious flaws and limitations, the conclusion of this study is that any dosage at or above 400 IU daily of vitamin E may increase mortality and should be avoided.
Secondly, misunderstanding and confusion exists over the many subtle differences between natural and synthetic vitamin E. The ultimate error is that natural and synthetic vitamin E will chemically react the same, and that is not true.
Natural or Synthetic Vitamin E
Natural vitamin E is generally considered to be d-alpha-tocopherol, and synthetic vitamin E is usually a term used for dl-alpha-tocopheryl. Since the names of the chemicals are different you know the chemicals are also different. As the chemicals are different, their reaction is also different in the body.
The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients reports, “Natural vitamin E supplements outperform synthetic forms, according to a VERIS Research Summary. Results of recent studies suggest that natural vitamin E is more bioavailable and is retained in body tissues significantly longer than synthetic vitamin E. These studies show that previously accepted differences were underestimated and that the bioavailability of natural vitamin E is about twice that of synthetic vitamin E compounds.”
Vegetable oil, specifically soybean oil, is the primary source of naturally occurring vitamin E in the American diet. However, synthetic vitamin E is manufactured from petroleum oil (yes, the same chemical oil that comes out of the ground, used to make tar, motor oil and gasoline, often linked with cancer).
Doctors are very comfortable and familiar with prescribing synthetic chemicals. For this reason they are not hesitant to prescribe a synthetic vitamin; apparently it is easy for them to assume that something that is made in a laboratory is just as good as something that is made in nature. But, the primary difference scientists use to determine toxicity and function within the body is the molecular structure of a compound. If the chemical structure is found to be similar it is assumed to be a satisfactory substitute for the real thing. The chemical structure of a natural vitamin is different from a synthetic vitamin because it cannot be precisely the same, and this is the reason that synthetic vitamin E has proven to demonstrate toxicity while organic vitamin E (as in Unique-E vitamin E) has no such toxicity.
When taking levels of “vitamin E” above 400IU is found to be unsafe, it is because the vitamin E is synthetic and not tolerated well by the body. All biomedical testing proves that within the human structure there is a strong chemical discrimination or preference between natural and synthetic vitamin E. “You can’t fool mother nature.”
“Our studies suggest without question that natural vitamin E delivers at least twice the impact as synthetic E,” said Robert Acuff, PhD, Professor and Director, Center for Nutrition Research at East Tennessee State University. He concludes it is the natural form of vitamin E is obviously the one human tissue was designed to use. Margaret Traber, Associate Professor at the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, seems to discriminate between the two forms of vitamin E, reporting that the human body will retain the natural organic form of vitamin E, while rapidly eliminating the synthetic form in the urine and bowel.
It is my opinion that the human organism will tolerate much higher doses of natural vitamin E – as provided by Peyronie’s Disease Institute, Dupuytren’s Contracture Institute and the Natural Health Education LLC website – and can tolerate much less synthetic vitamin E available found in low cost and low quality products. For this reason PDI and DCI only offers organic and natural vitamin E for use in their treatment plans. Using the kind of vitamin E we have available, many people use levels in the 800 IU-1,200 IU range while attempting to reduce their Peyronie’s scar or Dupuytren’s nodule and cord. When combined with several other nutrients (acetyl-L-carnitine, coenzyme Q 10, MSM, PABA, L-arginine), a high quality natural vitamin E can have a beneficial effect on the excessive fibrous tissue development of DC and PD.
This concludes our vitamin E discussion for this issue of the newsletter. I hope everyone found it interesting and informative so you can do a better job of helping your own PD or DC condition.
If you want to contact me about your problem, or questions about treatment, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay focused on your treatment plan.