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Published Research on Vitamin E, Manganese, and Taurine in Epilepsy

Vitamin E

It is interesting to note that anti-epileptic drugs have been shown to decrease vitamin E levels. This depletion is significant when combined with studies showing the power of vitamin E to help the body control epileptic seizure activity.

A double-blind placebo-controlled study of 24 epileptic children not responding to anti-epileptic drugs found that supplementing with 400 IU/day of vitamin E provided a significant reduction of seizures in 10 out of 12 children. The two unresponsive children were non-compliant (they did not comply with the vitamin E program). The 12 children on vitamin E therapy had no negative side-effect. All 24 children in the study continued their normal dosages of anti-epileptic drugs. The 12 children that were given a placebo (NOT REAL vitamin E), showed no improvement in epileptic activity. (A. O. Ogunmekan. Vitamin E deficiency and seizures in animals and man. Canadian Journal of Neurological Science, 1979; vol. 6. Pg. 43-45.)


A link between epilepsy and manganese was first presented in 1963 when Hurley and his research team observed that manganese-deficient rats were more susceptible to seizures that animals that that high levels of manganese. Also the EEG in these deficient animals were epileptic-like. Several subsequent research studies show that blood and hair manganese levels are low in epileptics, with the correlation that those typically having the highest seizure rates show the lowest levels of manganese. (L.S. Hurley, D.E. Wooley, et al. Influence of manganese on susceptibility of rats to convulsions. American Journal of Physiology. 1963. Pgs. 493-496.)
(E. G. Carl, B. B. Keen, B. Gallagher et al. Association of low blood manganese concentrations with epilepsy. Neurology. 1986. Pgs. 1584-1587.)
(P. Sampson. Low manganese level may trigger epilepsy. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1977. Pg 1805.)


Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the mammalian brain. Several studies exist that document the positive affects and the anti-convulsive activity of taurine. One study documents that epileptics have shown significantly lower levels of taurine in their blood platelets than control patients.

In one study a daily oral dose of 0.05-0.3 g/kg and 750 mg in another study both demonstrated significant efficacy in cases of intractable epilepsy, decreasing seizures by more than 30% in 11 of 34 patients. This can be considered highly significant since these patients were unresponsive to any other anticonvulsants. A correlation of effectiveness was seen with the patients achieving the highest taurine concentrations also showing the best response of decreased seizures. Also, patients with partial epilepsy demonstrated the best results. (Y. Fukuyama, Y. Ochiai. Therapeutic trial by taurine for intractable childhood epilepsies. Brain Development. 1982. Pgs. 63-69.) (H. Pasantes-Morales, H. Chapparro, E. Otero. Clinical study on the effect of taurine on intractable epilepsy. Review Invest. Clinical 1981. Pgs 373-378.)

Even with such positive results; the rate of effectiveness of taurine is far below the level where taurine could be recommended as a standard "medical/drug" treatment for epilepsy. At this time, there is no agreement on the seizure types or dosage amount for which taurine is most suitable.

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