Vitamin E is probably the oldest oral therapy used in the modern era for Peyronie’s disease. Unfortunately there are no well done controlled trials demonstrating any benefit, and in a small controlled trial performed in England, no benefit was noted with the use of vitamin E for Peyronie’s disease. The proposed mechanism of action for vitamin E is as an agent which may act by soaking up scar-inducing chemicals (free radicals) that are released in traumatized, inflamed and healing tissue. Therefore, if vitamin E could possibly get into the tunica albuginea of the penis and lower the free radicals then vitamin E would be beneficial. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to show that vitamin E does reach the target tissue, and it is unknown what dose would be necessary to result in such a benefit. In my opinion, vitamin E remains relatively inexpensive and non-toxic treatment when used at less than 1000 units per day and may have some benefit and does little harm. Although there may be different types of vitamin E, to my knowledge, there has been no evidence of an increased benefit with one brand or type over another with respect to Peyronie’s disease, and therefore your questions regarding hi-gamma vitamin E must go unanswered.
There is increased concern about using high doses of vitamin E in patients who may be at increased risk for congestive heart failure. Therefore, in the man who may have a compromised heart, the use of daily vitamin E, at any dose, has raised concern and probably should be avoided until more conclusive information is available. One final comment is that vitamin E is now under study in the US in a large government sponsored trial examining the potential benefits of 400 mg/IU vitamin E daily. These men will be followed over a 7-12 year period to see if such chronic use would reduce the risk of prostate cancer as compared to no vitamin E versus the combination of vitamin E plus selenium 200 mcg daily. In the recent past small, short-term trials of vitamin E and Selenium have suggested a reduced risk of not only prostate, but also colon and lung cancer. The government sponsored study, known as the SELECT Trial is attempting to answer this question.