Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that was first identified as essential for fertilized eggs to result in live births. Vitamin E gets its name from the Greek word, ‘tocopherol’, meaning birth and to bear.
There are eight naturally occurring forms of vitamin E, namely, the alpha, beta, gamma, and delta classes of tocopherols and alpha, beta, gamma, and delta classes of tocotrienols, which are synthesized by plants.
Although alpha tocopherols and tocotrienols are available from the diet, alpha-tocopherol is the biologically active form of vitamin E (occurs as one isomer) and is most bioavailable in the body.
FOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN E
Wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, broccoli, spinach, soybean, hazelnuts, avocados, olive oil, almonds, nut butter are among the best sources of vitamin E.
WHICH IS BETTER - NATURAL & SYNTHETIC VITAMIN E?
There are both natural and synthetic (man-made) versions of vitamin E. The natural forms of vitamin E are found to be more beneficial to our body than their alternative form. Synthetic alpha-tocopherol is found to contain eight different isomers with only about 12% of the molecule identical to natural vitamin E.
On the supplements fact table, natural vitamin E will be mentioned as natural or d-alpha tocopherol or d-alpha tocopheryl acetate. In contrast, synthetic forms will be mentioned as dl-alpha tocopherol.
WHY SHOULD WE SUPPLEMENT WITH VITAMIN E?
A growing body of evidence suggests that the dietary intakes of vitamin E are not adequate to protect against the long-term health risk that may be associated with oxidative stress. Moreover, food processing technologies have not concerned themselves with maximizing the levels of vitamin E in the diet. Supplementation with vitamin E becomes necessary both for nutritive reasons and for the protection of fat-rich foods against oxidative rancidity.
ZENITH NUTRITION VITAMIN E
Zenith Nutrition vitamin E capsules provide 200mg of natural vitamin E per serving. The vegetarian dietary supplement is manufactured in a GMP-certified facility and is strictly evaluated for purity and potency. The supplement does not contain preservatives, corn, soy, dairy, gluten, or sugar.
CAUSES FOR DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN E
Vitamin E deficiency although rare in humans does exist. People with an inherited or acquired condition of impaired ability to absorb the vitamin (like cystic fibrosis, bile duct obstruction), people who cannot absorb dietary fat or who suffer from disorders of fat metabolism, people who follow a low-fat diet, smokers (in whom utilization of vitamin E is more) are particularly at a risk for vitamin E deficiency. Vitamin E supplementation has been found by studies to alleviate the deficiencies of the vitamin.
SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN E
The resulting symptoms of vitamin E deficiency may include the inability to coordinate voluntary movements, numbness, poor vision, immune system changes, premature aging, poor fertility, anemia (due to oxidative damage to the red blood cells).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TOCOPHEROL & TOCOTRIENOL?
Tocopherols and Tocotrienols differ structurally by the position of methyl groups. Tocopherols contain a phytyl tail with no double bonds (saturated). Tocotrienols have a short chain with double bonds (unsaturated).
HOW TO TAKE VITAMIN E SUPPLEMENTS?
Vitamin E supplement is suggested to be taken with meals containing a sufficient amount of fat for better bioavailability of the vitamin.
SIDE EFFECTS OF EXCESSIVE INTAKE OF VITAMIN E
Excessive intake of vitamin E may have interactions with vitamin K and cause excessive bleeding and other symptoms like nausea, fatigue, blurred vision.
VITAMIN E IS A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT
Free radicals are formed when the body is subjected to external aggressors like sunlight, pollution, smoking, and aging. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are always on the lookout for free electrons. During the process of finding the electron, they cause damage to the cells, structural integrity of tissues, proteins and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to numerous possible health concerns including arthritis, cataract, and atherosclerosis. Vitamin E supplementation can help prevent and delay chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress. α –tocopherol is the well-recognized nature’s most effective lipid-soluble antioxidant that has the potent chain-breaking ability that inhibits the production of reactive oxygen species. It can help reduce lipid peroxidation, defend against dementia, support eyesight, slow the aging process, helps relieve muscle cramps and pain, supports heart health, and substantially contributes to optimum health.
VITAMIN E SUPPORTS HEART HEALTH
Oxidation of low-density lipoproteins can lead to cardiovascular complications. Vitamin E has a stronger inhibitory peroxidation and researchers have found that supplementation with 100mg per day of vitamin E can lead to a reduction in risk factors for heart health.
Oxidized low-density lipoprotein stimulates endothelial cells to produce inflammatory markers which are involved in foam cell formation. This creates cytotoxic effects on endothelial cells, inhibits the motility of macrophages and vasodilation.
Researchers have found that the supplementation of 100 mg per day of gamma-tocopherol in humans leads to a reduction in several risk factors for arterial clotting, such as platelet aggregation and cholesterol. The inability of the body to terminate the uptake of oxidized LDL permits excessive accumulation of LDL in tissue macrophages which are believed to be the primary contributor to cardiovascular ailments. Vitamin E through its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties plays a crucial role in offering protection to heart health.
VITAMIN E PROTECTS EYE HEALTH
Our eyes are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage due to long-time exposure to light and high metabolism. Cataracts, which are the commonest causes of vision loss in older adults occur because of the accumulation of proteins damaged by free radicals. Our retina is highly concentrated in fatty acids, which are particularly vulnerable to destruction through oxidation by free radicals. Long-term supplementation of vitamin E is found to be associated with the slower progression of age-related vision loss. Vitamin E supplements are highly beneficial in reducing the early signs of eye-related troubles. Vitamin E protects the eye cells from the damaging effects of free radicals that break down healthy eye tissue.
VITAMIN E STRENGTHENS IMMUNITY
If the body doesn’t have strong enough antioxidant protection to neutralize the free radicals, the imbalance can cause DNA damage and the immune system to become weaker.
Vitamin E has a pronounced effect in mitigating the harmful effects of free radicals on immune cells. It enhances humoral and cellular immune responses, support the growth of T cells and increase phagocytic functions. A daily intake of vitamin E promotes enhanced resistance to infectious diseases in the elderly, in whom plasma vitamin E levels are low. Vitamin E offers enough antioxidant protection to T cells so that they could multiply and fend off viral infection. Vitamin E effects on prostaglandin production by macrophages in the aged have been suggested as one of the mechanisms by which vitamin E improves age-associated decrease in the immune response.
VITAMIN E BENEFITS SKIN HEALTH
Supplementation with vitamin E has been proven to be beneficial for a range of skin disorders. It offers significant antioxidant protection to help defend your skin cells from pollution and other environmental stressors that would weaken the skin, causing unwanted changes. Vitamin E concentrations in the human epidermis can decline with age making you easily prone to UV-light-induced damage. With its antioxidant properties, vitamin E helps repair damaged skin tissues, can help lighten hyperpigmentation, boost the process of collagen production and skin regeneration. The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E can soothe skin, maintain skin elasticity and a smooth appearance. Vitamin E can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, prevent age spots, and help heal scars faster.