WASHINGTON, Nov 29, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) today launched a national campaign to reassure the public of the safety and benefits of vitamin E following publication of a meta-analysis on the supplement earlier in the month that drew inappropriate conclusions that are not consistent with the totality of the evidence.

The initial phase of CRN's campaign includes a national advertising effort with a full-page ad in the Nov. 29 editions of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today (http://www.crnusa.org/vitaminEissafe.html). The ad features quotes from prominent health researchers refuting the negative claims of the recent meta-analysis, noting the many benefits of vitamin E.

The ad further focuses on the fact that the Institute of Medicine, a scientific advisory body, reviewed 340 peer-reviewed scientific studies and references on vitamin E, including most of the studies covered in the meta- analysis, and concluded that vitamin E is safe at levels as high as 1000 mg per day (1500 IU for natural vitamin E, or 1000 IU of synthetic vitamin E).

Other facets of the public awareness campaign include a vitamin E- dedicated section of the CRN website (http://www.crnusa.org/vitaminEissafe.html), outreach to media including an editor/reporter seminar on vitamin E to be held in January, and other public relations activities including outreach to pharmacists and dietitians.

According to CRN President Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., "CRN is taking these actions because vitamin E consumers have been confused and unnecessarily frightened by sensationalist headlines in the media generated by scientists from a respected university who have presented the findings of one meta- analysis in an irresponsible manner. Vitamin E is both safe and good for you."

Because of the strength of the evidence on the benefits of vitamin E, a number of clinical trials are currently underway, spear-headed by leading academic institutions such as Harvard University and government agencies such as the National Cancer Institute, investigating the protective effect of vitamin E on heart disease and a number of cancers including prostate cancer, and involving more than 100,000 subjects. These studies are continuing, despite the meta-analysis, because the principal investigators remain confident in the safety of vitamin E.

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement industry ingredient suppliers and manufacturers. CRN members adhere to a strong code of ethics, comply with dosage limits and manufacture dietary supplements to high quality standards under good manufacturing practices. For more information on CRN, visit http://www.crnusa.org.