Amazing Facts about Vitamin E
... and the exciting benefits Vitamin E has for you
The real facts
about vitamin E may surprise you. First of all, what is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is not one nutrient but actually a group of eight nutrients known as tocopherols and tocotrienols. Each one of these groups is further
broken down into alpha, beta, gamma and delta.
Alpha-tocopherol is the most active and common form. This is the form most often found in vitamin
This is also the only form of Vitamin E given an RDA
(Recommended Daily Allowance). Folks who eat lots of fruits and vegetables and not much fat in their diet, probably don't get their RDA of
Although alpha-tocopherol is the only Vitamin E component given an RDA, Gamma tocopherol is an
important component as well.
Vitamin E is an oil soluble vitamin and is stored by your body.
Facts about Vitamin E and What It Does For You
What does Vitamin E do? Vitamin E acts as what's called an antioxidant. An anti what? Yeah I know. Think of it
this way ...
The cells of your body are under a lot of stress ... oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when highly
unstable molecules called free radicals roam freely throughout your body.
Free radicals are a by-product of not only the normal metabolic processes of your cells but also your environment
- things such as air pollution, sun exposure, ozone, nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust), cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption and so
Free radicals damage cell membranes and can result in changes to your cells that cause chronic diseases down the
road. When your cells are being damaged by these free radicals, we say your cells are experiencing oxidative stress ...
... and one of the facts about Vitamin E is that it is an antioxidant and can significantly neutralize the free
radicals that cause oxidative stress.
Facts about Vitamin E and Heart Disease
Does Vitamin E aid in the prevention of heart disease? Well, the jury's still out on this one. Theoretically, the
facts about Vitamin E and its ability to significantly reduce the progression of atherosclerotic plaque (buildup on the inside of your artery
walls), says yes, without a doubt.
An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association says so also. Using angiography, a correlation was
found between taking Vitamin E supplements and a reduction in coronary artery atherosclerosis. Remember the above facts about vitamin E and how
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant? Well this is the same mechanism.
As Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. of Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts states " ... surveys of over
200,000 people in different communities around the world have provided compelling evidence that diets high in vitamin E and/or use of vitamin E
supplements reduce the risk of heart disease"
If You Want the Real Facts About Vitamin E, You Need to Know About Primary and Secondary
Dr. Blumberg stresses the importance of making the distinction between what he calls primary and secondary
prevention. Primary prevention focuses on groups of healthy people and testing for new heart disease against different levels of Vitamin E intake
over many years. Secondary prevention is taking groups of folks with existing heart disease and testing for a short duration using Vitamin E
supplements along with placebos .
It is felt that the results of some secondary trials (the ones that claim no beneficial relationship between
Vitamin E and heart disease) may be skewed by other factors in these heart patients such as smoking and diabetes. Also the drugs that these folks
are taking along with the Vitamin E supplements could also affect the outcome of the research.
Concerning the facts about Vitamin E, Dr. Blumberg goes on to state, "In thinking about the value of vitamin E
supplementation, particularly in primary prevention, it is important to appreciate not only its potential benefit in heart disease but also in a
variety of other chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress, including age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer,
cataract, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis."
More facts about Vitamin E were reported on in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Nurses' Health Study and
the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. These two studies followed thousands of women and men. The researchers found a significant reduction in
heart disease of the folks taking Vitamin E supplements.
Facts about Vitamin E and Alzheimer's
Can Vitamin E help cut your risk of developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia? New studies seem to
suggest so. A recent report found in the Archives of Neurology showed that vitamin E taken together with Vitamin C had significant
The study's author, Peter Zandi PhD with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated, "These results
are extremely exciting. Our findings suggest that vitamins E and C may offer protection against Alzheimer's disease when taken together in the
higher doses available from individual supplements."
Another study also in the Archives of Neurology found that Vitamin E intake may slow the progression of cognitive
decline as we grow older.
How does Vitamin E do this? Well, remember some of the facts about Vitamin E above and how Vitamin E acts as an
antioxidant? It is widely accepted that oxidative stress plays a role in the bringing about of Alzheimer's. And by its antioxidant properties,
Vitamin E is able to reduce this oxidative stress to the cells of your brain.
More Facts about Vitamin E
Because of Vitamin E's antioxidant properties, it has been shown effective in helping treat osteoarthritis.
Vitamin E has also shown to be helpful in preventing the formation of cataracts in your eyes. And it can also protect your eyes against ARMD (age
related macular degeneration) as you get older. ARMD is the major cause of blindness in the U.S.
In folks with diabetes, Vitamin E and other antioxidants have been effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
There has also been found to be a relationship between low levels of Vitamin E and an increased risk of getting diabetes.
Vitamin E has also been found to reduce hot flashes for women going through menopause. And for male smokers, it
greatly reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Is Vitamin E Safe
A recent article appearing in the Council for Responsible Nutrition stated that Vitamin E is safe for folks in the
general population at doses up to 1600 IU daily. With most of the daily doses you'll find out there being in the 200 - 400 IU range there should
be no concern.
What Do We Recommend?
The facts about Vitamin E seem to point to the benefits of getting a healthy dose of Vitamin E in your
multivitamin. This insures that Vitamin E and the other nutrients you are getting are working together synergistically.
None other than Harvard School of Public Health weighed in by stating that the, "... intake of several
vitamins above the minimum daily requirement may prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases."
Also, an article apperaing in the Journal of the American Medical Association had this to say... "suboptimal intake of
some vitamins, above levels causing classic vitamin deficiency, is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general
In addition, the JAMA went on to say, "Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone.
Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements."
We've seen lots of products out there and we recommend not wasting your time or money on the mass produced, mass
marketed thrift store variety multivitamins.
Most of these skimp on the amount of nutrients in their formulations and some are are just downright low