Vitamin E and Fibrosis: A Little-Known But Very Effective Treatment for Little-Known But Very Serious Health Conditions
Vitamin E and Fibrosis - Fibrosis is a condition in which toxins or free radicals have caused proteins to become linked. The linked proteins form fibers that surround and interfere with the function of healthy tissues. Even most nutritionists don't know the link between vitamin E and fibrosis, but this readily available, inexpensive nutritional supplement can make a big difference in recovery from the diseases fibrosis causes.
Let's start by taking a look at some of the conditions characterized by fibrosis.
In some parts of the world, notably in Taiwan, up to 10 percent of the population suffers a muscle disease known as deltoid fibrosis. As its name suggests, deltoid fibrosis a condition causing deterioration of the deltoid muscle, the triangle of muscle that allows the shoulders to move forward and backwards. In deltoid fibrosis, the proteins in the muscle become entangled and fibrous after repeated injury or infection. As little as 100 IU of daily vitamin E and fibrosis of this sort may not require surgery.
There is also a beneficial connection between vitamin E and fibrosis of the liver secondary to hepatitis C. Although hepatitis C is rightly considered a serious, life-threatening disease, the majority of people with hepatitis C infections experience no symptoms until toxic stress activates the virus and causes inflammation with a massive release of free radicals. These free radicals destroy liver tissue by catalyzing cross-links of protein between liver cells. Blood and nutrients cannot flow into liver cells for processing and out to the rest of the body where they are needed.
Damaged liver tissue is depleted of antioxidants, not just vitamin E, but also beta-carotene, vitamin C, and lycopene. Taking these antioxidants helps toxin-damaged liver tissue recover. If they are taken soon enough, they may even prevent toxin damage from occurring.
The key antioxidants for recovery from hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis are vitamin E and vitamin C. They work better if there is also a low-fat diet.
Another surprising relationship between vitamin E and fibrosis is found in women's infertility. Used in combination with the prescription "blood thinner" pentoxyfilline, vitamin E helps the uterus become thicker and more hospitable to the fertilized egg. When the combination has been used under medical supervision daily for at least 9 months, women with various kinds of hormonal problems have been able to become pregnant and carry their babies to term.
The combination of vitamin E and pentoxyfilline also is tremendous aid in treating pelvic adhesions. Any kind of abdominal surgery in women can result in adhesions. These misplaced strands of cartilage make movement difficult or painful and can interfere with urination, menstruation, sex, and pregnancy. Vitamin E taken with doctor's approval as soon after surgery as possible may help prevent the formation of adhesions, and regular supplementation with vitamin E may help adhesions slowly heal.
Vitamin E and pentoxyfilline are also help in relieving lymphedema. A common complication of mastectomy or radiation treatment for breast cancer, lymphedema is very difficult condition. In a British study reported in 2004, doctors found that a combination of high-dose vitamin E (1200 to 1500 IU per day) and normal doses of pentoxyfilline reduced swelling and increased flexibility in the chest wall. British scientists reported in June 2005 that this combination also helps restore sexual function in both men and women who had radiation in the pelvic region for cancer.
Another connection between vitamin E and fibrosis the treatment of the pulmonary fibrosis caused by treatment with the anti-arrhythmia drug amiodarone. Commonly given to people who are at risk for sudden death, amiodarone frequently causes breathing problems. Taking vitamin E can circumvent this serious side effect.
Vitamin E alone aids the early development of children with cystic fibrosis (CF). Children with CF have difficulty absorbing fat, protein, and the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Deficiencies in vitamin E are especially common in infants and toddlers who have the disease. Vitamin E deficiencies lead to memory problems and difficulties in learning to speak, as well as lower IQ's. Deficiencies in vitamin E can cause a form of anemia in which red blood cells break down, depriving the brain of the oxygen it needs for normal development. Vitamin E is as critical to the development of the child with CF as protein or parental attention.
The most interesting and least known connection between vitamin E and fibrosis, however, may be the use of vitamin E to treat fibrosis of the tongue that interferes with taste. People who use snuff or chewing tobacco or who eat chili peppers every day can develop scarring in the lining of the mouth and on the tongue. The condition can also occur in people who drink extremely large quantities (upwards of 40 cups) of coffee or tea every day.
In this form of fibrosis, tannins in tobacco, coffee, or tea, copper in betel nuts or tobacco, or capsaicin in chili peppers, stimulates the lining of the mouth to produce collagen. These free radical factories then cause a cross-linking of the proteins in the collagen to form a scar layer across the taste buds. Doctors treat this scarring with steroids, interferon, extracts made from human or cow placenta, or even fertility drugs, but there is a kinder, gentler alternative. If you can't give up your coffee, tea, tobacco, betel nut, or chili pepper habit, take at least 100 IU of a natural vitamin E every day to minimize their damage.
How much vitamin E do you need to treat or prevent fibrosis? As a rule of thumb, 100 IU a day may assist prevention. It's always better to use a product that has a balance of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, the two most common chemical forms of the vitamin.
Don't assume your supplement gives you gamma-tocopherol unless it's clearly marked on the label. A claim that the supplement contains 100% of the US RDA only tells you that it contains at least 15 IU of the alpha-tocopherol form of the vitamin, not enough to hurt you, but not enough to help you, either.
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to help with vitamin E and fibrosis. All of the 85 ingredients in Total Balance work in complete synergy without interfering with each other. You don't need high doses of any one form of vitamin E- just a highly concentrated, natural food supplement.
We take Total Balance ourselves and are very happy with the results.