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204: Why do vitamin E requirements stay elevated for four years when we stop eating PUFA?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 204


Question: Why do vitamin E requirements stay elevated for four years when we stop eating PUFA? 

None of this really proves that long-term vitamin E status is compromised, and that will make the clinical effect of PUFA be net negative after four or five years. But it does show you that the general relationship between the fact that you get more vitamin E when you eat PUFA oils, right? Because in the plant, the plant doesn't have this turnover problem, the plant makes vitamin E whenever it wants. And it has a certain amount of PUFA for some purpose, and it loads it up and so the plant has the amount of vitamin E that is needed to protect those under those conditions. So the question is, does a person, a human being, eating that oil also benefit from that relationship between vitamin E and PUFA that the safflower plant made? The answer to that is controversial.

Important note: In the video, a graph was shown that showed adipose linoleate is cleared in about one year rather than four. This was from an animal study. On page 30 in the PDF and 546 in the journal of this reference:

… it can be seen that it takes about 50 months (approximately 4 years) for adipose linoleate to bottom out in a human switched from corn oil to beef fat.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:

082: Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, February 7, 2021

From now through March, I will be working full-time on finishing my Vitamins and Minerals 101 book, while reserving a portion of my time for consulting clients. You can pre-order my book at You can sign up for a consultation at

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
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Chris Masterjohn, PhD