Vitamin E Benefits
Regain Control of Your Health
As an antioxidant vitamin, vitamin E benefits you in ways you can't even imagine! This little powerhouse of a nutrient protects every cell of your body from the damaging assault of free radicals...
highly unstable and destructive molecules that have 1 or more unpaired electrons in their outer atomic orbitals. Free radical are very
reactive and seek stability by snatching electrons... any nearby molecule will do, proteins, DNA, fat - you name it!
Free radicals do enormous damage... by snatching electrons from proteins, lipids (fats) and DNA, they destroy their natural biological function in your body. If this destructive electron snatching process called "oxidation" is not stopped, a vicious runaway chain reaction of electron snatching ensues.
Oxidative damage is strongly associated with a spectrum of physiological dysfunction. Vitamin E benefits you by preventing and even reversing many of the conditions now associated with oxidative damage.
Here are just a few...
Conditions Associated With Oxidative Damage That Vitamin E Benefits May Prevent or Reverse
Immunity and Infection
Arthritis and Inflammatory Diseases
And here is how vitamin E benefits can help protect you...
Vitamin E, as a "fat soluble" vitamin, resides within the fatty or "lipid" regions of the body, specifically the fatty protective barrier of
all cells, the cell membrane. Here within the cell membrane , vitamin E intercepts and "neutralizes" electron-starved free radicals by donating its own electron to the free radical. And what does that accomplish?
Well, it immediately stops destructive chain reactions dead in their tracks! Vitamin E is a free radical trap, sacrificing its own electrons to free radicals instead of allowing free radicals to denature your own proteins, DNA and lipids.
How Are Dangerous Free Radicals Formed?
Today, our modern world is literally a free radical generator... the polluted air we breath, cigarette smoke, ultra-violet light, chlorinated hydrocarbons and even the metabolism of oxygen within our bodies initiate formation of m thousands
of these molecular buzz bombs in your body every day. Are you ready for an interesting little fact?
It is estimated 1-3% of the molecular oxygen we breath may be converted to the "superoxide radical" and "hydroxide radical", destructive free radicals collectively called the "reactive species of oxygen" (ROS).
Are you beginning to understand how vitamin E benefits you?
Good! Lets take a quick look at the various forms of vitamin E...
Free radical trapping by vitamin E is actually achieved by a number of different molecules within the vitamin E family... designated by the first 4 letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.
Alpha Tocopherol / Alpha Tocotrienol
Beta Tocopherol / Beta Tocotrienol
Gamma Tocopherol / Gamma Tocotrienol
Delta Tocopherol / Delta Tocotrienol
Collectively, these vitamins are called vitamin E and express a range of free radical trapping ability. Alpha tocopherol is the most potent of all and is generally the vitamin E molecule of greatest nutritional interest. Some of the other vitamin E
molecules commonly found in food such as Beta and Gamma tocopherols and tocotrienols exert little biological activity
Naturally occurring vitamin E provided by foods is easily denatured by heat, light, storage and cooking processes.
Nutritional supplements avoid this problem by providing vitamin E benefits in a protected form called the "acetate ester" An ester is very stable to food storage and processing conditions. It is easily cleaved to the natural form
by pancreatic esterase's in the small intestine and absorbed into the bloodstream readily.
Once absorbed, vitamin E circulates through the blood via the 3 major classes of blood "lipoproteins"
Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL)
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL - "Bad" cholesterol)
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL - "Good" Cholesterol)
Vitamin E Benefits
Today there is tremendous interest in the "cardioprotective" or heart health benefits of vitamin E. Almost weekly a new study is published extolling vitamin E benefits. Is there any evidential basis to these claims? The answer may suprise you!
Current medical management of cardiovascular health include recommendations to lower dietary intake of saturated fats, increase intake of fruits, vegetables and reduce levels of blood cholesterol. Wise recommendations. But more precisely,
high blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), you're "bad" cholesterol is actually associated with poor heart health. Are you ready for the reason?
LDL particles are rich sources of cholesterol and fatty acids... prime targets of free radical attacks.
"Now, accumulating scientific evidence strongly indicates the oxidation of these fats within the LDL particle by free radicals may be the real genesis of atherosclerosis and heart disease!"
Here is why...
When LDL becomes oxidized, immune system cells called "macrophages" are "chemotactically" attracted to these particles. Special scavenger receptors on macrophages recognize and engulf damaged LDL particles... only LDL particles oxidatively damaged by free radicals. In fact, natural, undamaged LDL is ignored by macrophages.
As this process continues, more oxidatively damaged LDL within the artery wall is engulfed, enlarging the macrophage. This enlarged macrophage morphs into what is called a "foam cell". Eventually, the cholesterol containing foam cell bursts and ruptures its contents within the artery wall, forming a "fatty streak". And a fatty streak is the immediate precursor to an atherosclerotic lesion and coronary heart disease.
Vitamin E Benefits and Protects You
From Arterial Inflammation
The co-transport of vitamin E through the blood with the LDL particle protects LDL from oxidative attack leading to foam cells and atherosclerosis i.e. "plaque" or hardening of the arteries. In fact, oxidation of LDL can take place only after the loss of antioxidants like vitamin E, beta-carotene, lycopene and ubiqunol. Here is the reference.
Journal Of Biochemistry
And vitamin E supplementation reduces oxidation of LDL. Healthy volunteers receiving 268, 537, or 805 milligrams vitamin E per day for 8 weeks showed reduced LDL oxidation. But supplementation with vitamin E at only 40 or 134 milligrams per day produced no significant effects. Therapeutic doses of vitamin E are obviously necessary to attain significant vitamin E benefits. Check out this citation if you would like to read the actual reference.
Vitamin E Benefits - Journal of Lipid Research
In another study it was discovered...
"Individuals ingesting more than 100 IU vitamin E per day demonstrated less carotid artery lesion progression than subjects taking less than 100 IU vitamin E per day."
Scientific Journal - Circulation
What does this mean to you?
It is well-established science that carotid artery lesion development is directly linked to clinical coronary events (like heart attack).
Therefore, the demonstrated efficacy of vitamin E to reduce carotid artery lesion development may directly explain the reduced incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) observed in numerous clinical trials testing vitamin E supplementation and heart disease.
Get all the facts about the vitamin E and heart disease connection. Click below!
The Vitamin E and Heart Disease Connection
Is Your Immune System Healthy?
Do You Get Sick Often?
Enjoy Remarkable Vitamin E Benefits
Normally, we don't think twice about our immune system. The immune process is such an efficient killing system, we often experience months, even years, free of infectious disease, unaware thousands of pathogenic microbes are efficiently destroyed every day. Among other anti-oxidant micro nutrients, you can thank vitamin E. Here is why...
Occasionally we get ill and your body mounts a vigorous counterattack called the "inflammatory response" Highly specialized immune cells, neutrophils and macrophages ingest and obliterate the bacterium by releasing large amounts "superoxide anion" and "hydrogen peroxide" in a process called the "respiratory burst" Thats the upside. Are you ready for the downside?
Unfortunately, superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide produced by the respiratory burst are potent free radical generating species. If their release is not tightly controlled, these free radical generating species actually contribute to the genesis of disease. Thats because, in addition to killing pathogens, free radicals can destroy your own immune cells and other healthy tissue!
Protect Yourself From Free Radicals
Your Antioxidant Status is Vital!
As a biological antioxidant, vitamin E and other antioxidants protect immune cells and other healthy tissue from damaging free radicals generated during the respiratory burst. In fact supranutritional doses of vitamin E (levels of vitamin E above normal dietary intake) can stimulate immune function and increase resistance to infection.
A Boston randomized clinical trial utilizing vitamin E @ 200 milligrams per day in 88 healthy people significantly improved measures of immune function
Journal of the American Medical Association
According to Dr. Ranjit Chandra, an international expert on nutritional immunity, these vitamin E benefits attained at 200 milligrams per day.
"Apparently cannot be provided by a reasonable quantity and variety of natural foods, thus nutritional supplements may be important for health promotion and prevention of chronic disease"
Can Vitamin E Prevent Cancer?
The Diet-Cancer Connection
Your body grows and maintains healthy new tissue by replacing dead cells and repairing damaged ones. This depends on precise genetic control of cell division - your genes ensure each new daughter cell is an exact genetic replica or clone of the parent cell.
But cancers develop and progress when the genes controlling cell division become damaged - often by chemicals, cigarette smoke, pollutants and even certain dietary factors. This results in wild, uncontrolled and explosive cell growth... the individual cells seem to have no brakes to halt cell division!
If left unchecked, this mass of undifferentiated cells now called a tumor or neoplasm becomes vascularized and may metastasize, spreading to other healthy areas of the body.
Can You Reduce Your Threat of Cancer?
Among the many known carcinogens, free radicals may once again play a major role. In fact, it is well established that free radicals are mutagenic and cause mutations in the DNA of mammalian cells. And initiation, promotion and progression of tumors in experimental animal models directly correlates with the formation of free radicals. Logically, vitamin E, among the other antioxidant nutrients, may have a significant role neutralizing cancer causing free radicals.
But clinical trials of vitamin E and cancer have produced mixed results - the findings are not clear cut. If vitamin E actually suppresses free radical assaults, why are the findings not more definitive?
Are You Ready for a Little Secret?
Nutrients don't work well by themselves! We know vitamin E is only one nutrient in a complex series of antioxidant nutrients. Vitamins A, C retinol, minerals selenium, iron, magnesium, copper and numerous "phyto" or plant nutrients all work together synergistically. In fact, the synergism between vitamin E and vitamin C is so vital, that one without the other dramatically reduces the efficacy of each.
Is it really any suprise clinical trials testing vitamin E alone does not produce clear-cut results?
Mono-supplementation with only 1 nutrient can actually aggravate health problems. Unless you have a known specific deficiency of vitamin E or malabsorption problems, supplementation with vitamin E alone may not necessarily be recommended. Powerful vitamin E benefits may be realistically attained only with the full spectrum of all antioxidant vitamins and minerals. This is why, for your general health needs, you should always consider supplementation with a full spectrum or complete nutritional supplement.