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Apr 28, 2010 5:12 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Vitamin E shows promise for treating liver disease

New research finds that people with an obesity-related liver disease got a surprising benefit from vitamin E pills.

It's believed to be the first time a vitamin supplement has been shown to help treat a major ailment not caused by a nutrient deficiency.

However, doctors say people should not take vitamin E without consulting their physicians. The latest study included about 250 people with a serious form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. There's no known treatment. Those who took vitamin E had a 43 percent improvement in their liver function compared to 19 percent in the group that got a dummy pill.

Results appear online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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