- Prevents the formation of free radicals.
- Helps maintain healthy cardiovascular, eye, lung, cognitive, and immune system functions.
- Supports prostate health.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, present in many foods, and for which deficiencies are rare, even though the body cannot manufacture its own Vitamin E. Good sources of vitamin E abound—in polyunsaturated oils, wheat germ, seeds, nut, and vegetables. So why all the fuss about Vitamin E?
As one of the most researched vitamins around, there are as many claims as counter-claims. One thing is clear: Vitamin E's major job is as a chain-breaking antioxidant, which prevents the formation of free radicals. Ok, you're reading about supplements, so you know that these critters are bad, but why?
Free radicals possess an unpaired electron in the outer shell of a molecule. This makes them highly reactive with most molecules in the vicinity—lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and even DNA! Free radicals have an ultra short half-life, so they attack the nearest stable molecule, "stealing" its electron. When the "attacked" molecule loses its electron, it becomes a free radical itself, beginning a chain reaction! Once the process is started, it can cascade, resulting in cellular chaos!
Antioxidants like Vitamin E bolster the body from damaging oxidation reactions by reacting directly with free radicals. A combination of alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherols has been shown to be the most effective, as well as the most expensive source of Vitamin E. However, of all these, d-alpha-tocopherol has the highest biopotency, and its activity is the standard against which all the others must be compared.
Research strongly supports the role of vitamin E in maintaining healthy cardiovascular, eye, lung, prostate, cognitive, and immune system functioning. Evidence is also accumulating that Vitamin E might function to slow the process of aging.
- Use of more than 400 I.U. of Vitamin E per day with the drug warfarin may be contraindicated. Check with your physician.