Late Breaking News on Vitamin E!
A new study presented by LPI scientists at the Experimental Biology 2002 meeting in New Orleans may help explain why the results of studies evaluating the value of vitamin E supplements against heart disease have been so inconsistent (see Dr. Blumberg's article). Dr. Maret Traber and Scott Leonard reported that the plasma absorption of vitamin E from fortified cereal was much more effective than from vitamin E pills taken alone. Their study also demonstrated that plasma levels of vitamin E varied widely among individuals who consumed a 400 IU pill with food. When vitamin E supplements were taken with a glass of skim milk, plasma levels increased only 3%, but cereal containing 400 IU doubled plasma vitamin E. Dr. Traber noted that these results have important implications for the design of clinical trials in heart disease that use vitamin Eparticipants in such trials should be given vitamin E fortified food or instructed to take vitamin E pills with dinner. These strategies have not usually been incorporated into clinical trials, which means that the vitamin E plasma levels of participants may have been unexpectedly low even after supplementation.
The Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, a Special Collection in the Valley Library at OSU, announced in February the on-line posting of 46 of Linus Pauling’s research notebooks spanning 72 years of activity. The entries date from 1922 when Pauling began his graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology until the year of his death in 1994. In addition to allowing insight into his work in physics, chemistry, molecular biology, biology, and medicine, the entries provide much autobiographical information. The notebooks can be viewed at http://osulibrary.orst.edu/special collections.
Profiles in Sciences
The National Library of Medicine added a profile of Linus Pauling to its Profiles in Science website (http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov) at the end of February. The material presented is drawn from the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers at OSU and includes biographical information, as well as sections on the structure of proteins, the function of antibodies and enzymes, molecular medicine, and orthomolecular medicine. Each section is highlighted with relevant documents, such as letters and articles, and photographs.