Vitamin's mixed stroke role

DOSES of vitamin E could increase the risk of a particular type of stroke

A review by experts at Harvard Medical School in Boston in the US, suggests the vitamin increased the risk of a haemorrhagic stroke (where bleeding occurs in the brain) by 22 per cent.

Experts found vitamin E could cut the risk of the more common ishcamic type of stroke equivalent to one prevented per 476 people taking the vitamin.

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However, they warned that a healthy lifestyle and low blood pressure and low cholesterol have a far bigger effect on cutting the risk of ischaemic stroke than taking vitamin E.

Today's study, is published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the authors conclude: "In this meta-analysis, vitamin E increased the risk for haemorrhagic stroke by 22 per cent and reduced the risk of ischaemic stroke by 10 per cent . Given the relatively small risk reduction of ischaemic stroke and the generally more severe outcome of haemorrhagic stroke, indiscriminate widespread use of vitamin E should be cautioned against."

Previous studies on vitamin E have produced mixed results.