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December 18, 1948

Current Comment

JAMA. 1948;138(16):1159-1160. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900160027012

VITAMIN E  The popular press and a few medical periodicals have noted the supposed curative powers of vitamin E in various forms of heart disease. The evidence thus far submitted, most of which has appeared in the Medical Record,1 indicates that claims for the efficacy of this drug in the treatment of heart disease are based on almost purely subjective evidence in a large group of elderly patients treated with large doses of vitamin E after a failure to control symptoms with other usual methods of cardiac therapy. Objective evidence that the drug provides any real benefit in heart disease is lacking. Electrocardiographic changes either are not cited or show no true evidence of physiologic improvement. Evidence that vitamin E prolongs the life of cardiac patients as compared with control groups of patients treated by usual methods is entirely lacking. In a panel discussion on cardiac therapy at the