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August 14, 1972

Vitamin E In Porphyria

JAMA. 1972;221(7):714-715. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200200060026

To the Editor.—  Vitamin E has recently been shown to influence porphyrin metabolism.1,2 Nair and his co-workers3 have treated four patients with symptoms of porphyria with vitamin E. They found improvement in the clinical condition of the patients and decrease of urinary porphyrins and porphyrin precursors. This matter has also recently been treated in an EDITORIAL in The Journal.4This led us to study the effect of vitamin E on the porphyrin excretion in five porphyric patients. They were all women, aged 24 to 32 years, and from different families. During the experiment, one had mild symptoms pointing at porphyria. In four patients, the biochemical findings were typical for acute, intermittent porphyria, and in one patient for variegate porphyria. Four patients were given dl-alfa-tocopherol (Evitol forte, Orion Pharmaceutical Co, Finland) 100 to 200 mg/day, and one was given d-alfa-tocopherol (IDO-E, Pharmacia, Sweden) 400 mg/day. During a four-week