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It's really hard to overdose on vitamin E. It is a much more common problem to take the wrong kind of vitamin E. But there are upper limits to how much you should take of any vitamin E product.
How much vitamin E is too much? While we more often think of vitamin consumption in terms of too little, it is also possible to get too much. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is stored in your liver and in your fatty tissues and your skin.
Two other fat-soluble vitamins, A and D, can build up to toxic levels in your liver, up to twenty-five times more than the body actually needs. Vitamin E, however, does not build up to toxic levels. If you keep on taking vitamin E, your liver just stops receiving it. The problem is thought to be what excess vitamin E may do to blood cells.
The reason experts are concerned about the effect of vitamin E on clotting factors is that a study back in the 1990's found that smokers who took a low dose of vitamin E (50 IU a day) were slightly, although not significantly, more likely to have hemorrhagic stroke. The magnitude of the effect was small enough that it is possible that it was just a fluke. And studies using up to 3,200 IU of vitamin E a day didn't find any problems of this nature at all.
Still, if you are taking any kind of blood thinning drug, it's a good idea to keep it carefully monitored. You actually have much greater concerns about vitamin K, but you should discuss taking vitamin E with your doctor before you start.
Are there any other side effects of vitamin E? People who take vitamin E capsules sometimes get stomach upset. This is most likely to happen when the product is dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate suspended in soy oil. It's a very inexpensive product that really doesn't do your body a lot of good, because it's not the form of vitamin E your body absorbs with ease.
The product with these supplements actually isn't the vitamin E. It's the soy oil. Oils eventually go bad, even when they are stored in capsules. If you get stomach upset after taking this kind of vitamin E, throw out the bottle (that probably cost you between US $1.99 and $3.99) and take d-alpha-tocopheryl succinate or, better, a mixture of alpha-tocopherol and vitamin E tocotrienols.
Excess vitamin E is far less of a problem than taking the wrong kind. Read the articles on this site to find the right kinds of vitamin E for your personal health objectives.