Vitamin E – Not all are the Same

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Vitamin E is a very powerful antioxidant that fights the free radicals that accumulate in your body and cause illness and aging. Some of the many benefits of vitamin E are:

  • Prevents heart disease
  • Lowers the risk of a second heart attack
  • Protects against prostate cancer, especially in men who smoke
  • Prevents cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • Boosts immunity

Two types of vitamin E:

  1. Natural vitamin E = d-alpha tocopherol
  2. Synthetic vitamin E = dl-alpha tocopherol

Vitamin E is a common ingredient in multivitamins and vitamin and mineral combinations, but the human body absorbs it best in a liquid form.  This means that when you take a multi-vitamin with vitamin E, the vitamin E is not being used by your body properly and you may not be getting all of the benefits of this antioxidant.

Synthetic Vitamin E

Synthetic vitamin E, or dl-alpha tocopherol, is not easily utilized by your body.  The primary benefit of this petroleum by-product is that it is less expensive than the natural vitamin E.  However, if your body is not utilizing it, then it is just a waste of money.  While the synthetic form is less expensive, costing about half the price of the natural vitamin E, it is much less efficient.  You must be careful when buying vitamin E to get the d-alpha tocopherol types.  Even if the bottle says natural the vitamin may be partially synthetic. The only way to know for sure is to read the ingredients.  Anything with dl-alpha tocopherols is, at least, partially synthetic.  Generally, if it is a blend it is mostly synthetic vitamin E.

Natural Vitamin E

Natural vitamin E will never have dl-alpha tocopherols.  If the first letters of the name are “dl” then it will always be synthetic.  The “d” form of vitamin E is the only type that the body recognizes.

The body absorbs twice as much vitamin E from natural sources.  While both forms of the vitamin are absorbed equally well in the gut, the liver prefers the natural form.

Natural Mixed Tocopherols

The most effective forms of vitamin E have natural tocopherols and related compounds known as tocotrienols.  These substances respond differently in the body.  Because of this, taking one of the natural, liquid gel capsules, made up of a blend, is the most effective way to get this vitamin.

Vitamin E can interact with blood thinners like Coumadin and other medications.  It is important to talk to your doctor about adding vitamin E to your diet.  It is especially important to stop taking vitamin E about three weeks before surgery.

Although natural vitamin E may cost more the body absorbs and uses it better.  If you are going to take a supplement, you should take one that will bring the health benefits you are looking for and add to your overall health.

Remember my rule:  Nature knows best.

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