A study has found a 22 percent increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke in people who take vitamin E supplements, and recommends people should be cautious about indiscriminate widespread use of the vitamin. The study also found a slight 10 percent reduction in ischemic stroke risk linked to vitamin E use.

Reducing or eliminating the use of vitamin E is recommended because the consequences of hemorrhagic stroke are generally more severe than those of ischemic stroke, according to the study.

Other preventive strategies, such as blood pressure and cholesterol lowering drugs and living a healthy lifestyle, have far stronger effects on reducing ischemic stroke than intake of vitamin E, the researchers said.

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1. Schurks M, Glynn RJ, Rist PM, et al. Effects of vitamin E on stroke subtypes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 2010; 341: c5702. (open access)