As the media and government debate the benefits of Vitamin E, most Americans still are not getting enough Vitamin E per day. Why is this important? Even though it got little press, a November 10, 2006 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a significant reduction in overall mortality by supplementing with vitamin E.
Specifically, results showed that it reduced prostate cancer, ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, lung cancer, and respiratory illness. Perhaps one day the major media will catch on to these studies; in the meantime, you can take control of your health by supplementing.
Which leads us to the obvious question: what kind of vitamin E should you take?
As a rule (with a few notable exceptions), I do not recommend specific companies and brands because I cannot track them all to make sure they maintain their ingredient sourcing and manufacturing standards. But, I can give you some general guidelines. First off, vitamin E, as is true of most vitamins, is a naturally occurring complex that never exists in isolation in nature. Vitamin E consists of at least 4 tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and 4 tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). Unfortunately, most vitamin E products on the market contain only one of those eight components, d-alpha tocopherol (and to make matters worse, it’s often the less effective synthetic version, dl-alpha-tocopherol). This came about due to several inaccurate scientific observations and a couple of one-dimensional studies. Fortunately, over the last few years, researchers have come to understand that alpha tocopherol is not only NOT the most important component, it is, at best, number five in the pecking order– trailing all of the tocotrienols and gamma tocopherol in importance. That said, when it comes to choosing a vitamin E supplement, look for a full spectrum, all natural vitamin E along the lines of
And, if you want to learn about other vitamin guidelines, see my article published in Alive Magazine: “Navigating The Supplement Maze.”