'We need a quantum leap in vitamin E research'

DSM expert issues 'wakeup call' for new science on vitamin E

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

DSM expert issues 'wakeup call' for new science on vitamin E

Related tags: Nutrition

Industry and academics must make a 'quantum leap' in vitamin E research if we are do begin to understand the mass of as yet unknown information about the vital vitamin, according to DSM expert Dr Manfred Eggersdorfer.

Speaking to NutraIngredients, Eggersdorfer noted that while a lot is already known about the potential health benefits of vitamin E, there is a wealth of unexplored areas that new research tools may now help to shed light on.

"This is a wakeup call for new science on vitamin E,"​ said Eggersdorfer. "There is much left to learn."

"We must encourage young scientists to engage in new research on nutrient-gene interactions and to use novel biomarkers and analytical tools to truly gauge the role of vitamin E for health and wellness,"​ the DSM head for nutritional science advocacy added.

A wakeup call

"When you look at vitamin E, it's an essential ingredient for development and growth,"​ said Eggersdorfer. "But when we look at how many researchers are active, and how many funding agencies are providing funding for research in vitamin E then we see that it's not on the agenda anymore."

"That has to be changed."

The expert suggested that academics and industry researchers need to take the time to revisit the science behind vitamin E, and to utilise new scientific approaches that build on gene technologies to develop new science for the vitamin.

"We should be using all of the opportunities that we have now in analytics, in nutrigenomics, and using better biomarkers, in order to give vitamin E the right position it deserves."

"We need a renaissance in vitamin E research to discover more,"​ said Eggersdorfer.

"I am very much convinced that there's huge room for better knowledge on vitamin E in terms of its benefits for health and wellbeing,"​ he added. "We need to stimulate scientists to engage in this."

Related topics: Vitamins & premixes, Research, Suppliers

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1 comment

Caution urged on Vitamin E research

Posted by Christine Houghton,

Surely it's time we resolved to stop referring to 'Vitamin E' as if every one of the 8 forms of E (4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols) behaved in exactly the same way. They don't - and some of the most damning research on the increased mortality from Vitamin E was done on supraphysiologic doses of alpha-tocopherol.
There are some very good biochemical reasons to avoid megadosing of alpha-tocopherol - I would urge caution in embracing a new round of research without learning from past tragedies! "Natural" is a meaningless term when substances are synthesised in a laboratory - and certainly don't equate to 'Safe'.

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