Powerful Antioxidant & Free Radical Scavenger!Vitamin E is a major antioxidant & the primary defense against lipid peroxidation. It is particularly important in protecting the body's cells from free radical/oxidative damage. These protective benefits are achievable with supplemental intakes higher than what is normally consumed in the average diet. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is stored in adipose tissue, liver, and muscle. It is also stored in the adrenal and pituitary glands, red blood cells and platelets, testes, and ovaries. Vitamin E is unstable to heat, light, and oxygen.
- Powerful antioxidant & free radical scavenger
- Beneficial to cellular respiration in muscles
- Aids in circulation & healthy cardiovascular system
- May play a role in protein metabolism
- Promotes healthy hair & skin
- Supports the prevention of cataracts
- Protects cell membranes
Vitamin E plays an important role in protecting the body tissues from damaging reactions caused by free-radicals, which arise from many normal metabolic functions. Free-radicals are molecules that are energized at the loss of an electron. They become energetic and unstable and will react with any other molecule to acquire another electron. Free-radicals are responsible for many types of cancer, DNA damage, and blood clots. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant and it helps prolong the life of red blood cells, it plays an essential role in cellular respiration. It protects biological membranes such as those found in the nerves, muscles, and cardiovascular system. It helps the body effectively use and store vitamin A and protects B-complex and vitamin C from oxidation reactions
Natural versus Synthetic Vitamin E: Alpha tocopherol is the scientific name for the form of vitamin E that our bodies use. There are a variety of types of vitamin E such as beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols (often called "mixed" tocopherols) which exist in nature along with alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E comes in either a D or L form. The form that exists in our food and the form that our bodies need is the D form: D-alpha tocopherol. The L form does not work in our bodies.
Synthetic vitamin E is not the same as natural vitamin E and has lower biological activity. When vitamin E is made synthetically a mixture of the D and L forms is automatically produced and cannot be separated. This is called DL-alpha tocopherol and, although much less expensive than natural D-alpha tocopherol, is not biologically active. In fact, recent scientific studies have
indicated that synthetic vitamin E does not stay in the body nearly as long as natural vitamin E, making it a much less effective protector.
Vitamin E in its raw state (D-alpha tocopherol) is in oil form. If it is put into tablets or hard gelatin capsules it must be esterified. That means that a natural carrier must be added, such as acetate or succinate. These esterified forms are written as D-alpha tocopheryl acetate or D-alpha tocopheryl succinate. Since the carrier breaks down when ingested, esterified vitamin E is still considered natural as long as the D is present versus the DL.
Alpha-tocopherol in dietary supplements and fortified foods is often esterified to prolong its shelf life while protecting its antioxidant properties. The body hydrolyzes and absorbs these esters (alpha-tocopheryl acetate and succinate) as efficiently as alpha-tocopherol.
Intake recommendations for vitamin E and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies (formerly National Academy of Sciences). DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender, include:
- Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.
- Adequate Intake (AI): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.
- Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.