One of the most confusing things I found that led me on my Laura Miles MD path was trying to decipher all the different forms of vitamins. Even 15 years ago, health food stores were stocked with a plethora of different types of the same vitamins and there are even more today. Recently I pointed out the differences between the vitamin D2 which is the prescription form and D3. Hopefully you remember to always choose D3! Here is another confusing vitamin that can be toxic if you get the wrong form and unfortunately most of this vitamin found on the shelves is in the toxic form. This particular vitamin is a really good antioxidant and a special form of it has been used in cancer treatment, bone building, neuroprotective, lower cholesterol, heart protective and so much more. READ ON to learn more about which vitamin you really need!
Were you surprised at seeing the list of what one vitamin can do? When I was reviewing all the benefits I know I was! More and more research is finally being done and actual studies are showing some impressive findings with vitamin E!
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and actually comes in two different classes with each class having four different forms. These differ in their structure and as a result in their function.
- Tocopherols: alpha, beta, gamma & delta
- Tocotrienols: alpha, beta, gamma & delta
Scientists feel the most potent antioxidant of the group is the alpha tocopherol and this is why our supplements primarily have this form. However, more and more literature is coming out on the Tocotrienol form and it might surpass the tocopherols. In general, vitamin E helps neutralize tissue damaging free radicals. The alpha tocopherol is the most effective at neutralizing oxygen-based free radicals while the gamma tocopherol (primarily found in plants) is most effective at neutralizing nitrogen based free radicals. Tocotrienols not only help neutralize free radicals but act on a specific enzyme giving them more antioxidant power. Tocotrienols are more permeable than tocopherols and can cross membranes better. They have many uses and more research on these powerhouses are starting to really show how then outshine their sister tocopherols. Here is a list of uses that I found studies with tocotrienols:
1. Lowers cholesterol: I often use them as part of a cholesterol lowering regimen for this reason.
2. Cancer: Used as a treatment in combination with traditional therapies with surprisingly good results in animal models.
3. Neuroprotection: They reduce inflammation and toxicity in the brain and are starting to be studied with Alzheimer’s patients.
4. Heart protection: They reduce inflammatory parameters, reduce the risk factors for destabilizing and mobilizing atherosclerotic plaque as well as slowing the progression of atherosclerosis.
5. Bone loss: Help prevent excessive bone breakdown and promote new bone formation.
6. Lowers Homocysteine
7. Improves insulin resistance
8. Helps with liver disease: a nice study on non alcoholic fatty liver disease showed improvement after one year of use of 200mg twice a day.
Vitamin E tocopherols available in supplements comes from two sources: man-made or isolated from plants. The man-made form will be designated on the bottle as DL alpha tocopherol. There are growing concerns that the L form in the DL preparations actually interferes with the natural vitamin E in the body and some even believe the L form is toxic. Most natural vitamin E supplements actually contain all four subtypes but are only labeled as D alpha tocopherol. *Only buy the D alpha tocopherol form rather than DL forms!
The tocotrienols are primarily made from rice brain or palm oil. You will want a mixture of the different subtypes. If you are going to add tocotrienols to your regimen, do NOT use a product that has both tocotrienols and tocopherols in it. The tocopherols actually hinder the tocotrienols. For this reason, if you do take tocotrienols take them at least 6 hours away from any higher dose tocopherols.
We carry a great brand of tocotrienols so if you are interested in trying this product please stop by or you can order them online here.
Our main food source of vitamin E comes from good fats like oils, nuts and seeds as well as some veggies. Just look up a list of vitamin E containing foods and make sure you are incorporating some of these in your daily diet.
To your health,