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Q: My husband is on insulin and he takes Lipitor (a statin). To help with his diabetes, he has taken vitamin E (400 I.U. daily) for several years and vitamin C (500 mg daily). A recent news report said that taking vitamin E and vitamin C with statins could do more harm than good to the heart when taken in high doses. Are these doses that my husband is taking considered high? I also read that vitamin E is very beneficial to people with diabetes. Should he stop taking vitamins E and C?
A: One of the problems with isolated reports that are published is that they can cause confusion and many questions. Your question is an excellent one. I take Lipitor and I am not concerned with this one report. I also take vitamin C (1000 mg daily) and vitamin E (1000 mg daily). The doses that your husband is taking should not be a concern.
Keith Campbell, RPH, CDE
Professor, Pharmacy Department
Washington State University
Clinical adviser's note: The study referred to is reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, November 29, 2001 (vol. 345, pp. 1583-1592). The 160 patients studied over three years all had coronary artery disease, low HDL ("good") cholesterol and normal LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.