Vitamin E: Healer or Killer? Two Sides of the Same Coin
There have been numerous studies pointing out the two sides of vitamin E. On the one hand vitamin E has been found to have strong health promoting influences by protecting against damaging free radicals – because it is a very effective antioxidant for many fats.
On the other, it has been found that it can also increase, rather than reduce, oxidation and speed up the onset of both heart disease and cancer if you smoke and eat a diet high in polyunsaturated fat.
So as you can see, there’s plenty of evidence for both sides of the argument. Vitamin E may lower the risk of disease in some people, and raise the risk in others. That may be because it’s the natural (from foods) form that works best.
All Vitamin E supplements are not created equal
The vitamin E most often referred to and sold in most stores is a synthetic form of the vitamin, which really should NOT be used if you want to reap any of its health benefits. Synthetic vitamin E is listed as “dl-“forms.
Natural vitamin E as a supplement is always listed as the “d-“form (d-alpha-tocopherol, d-beta-tocopherol, etc.)
Your body can easily distinguish between natural and synthetic vitamins, and several studies have shown that natural vitamin E is between two and three times as bioactive as the same amount of synthetic vitamin E.
The Goldilock’s equation, meaning you need just the right amount to achieve optimal health — not too much and not too little, is the answer here. More than 400 IU per day can increase the risk of early death.
And that brings us to the best source of natural vitamins… Food, Not a Supplement, is Your Best Source of Vitamin E
And your body can do a phenomenal job of self-regulating many of these levels if you supply it with wholesome, healthy foods and dramatically limit your intake of processed foods, which are loaded with artificial chemicals.
Vitamin E Tocopherol and its subgroups are found in certain nuts and green leafy vegetables. Sources of Vitamin E tocotrienols include palm oil, rice bran and barley oils. However, many Americans do not get nearly enough of dietary vitamin E due to their poor dietary choices.
So yes, vitamin E is a wonderful antioxidant with powerful health benefits, but you need to make sure you’re getting them from the right sources — from the food you eat. A diet rich in fresh vegetables and nuts will usually supply you with the whole nutrients needed to walk this fine line.
Related articles from Dr. Mercola
- Do You Need Vitamin E? Find Out Seven Benefits Now
- Could Too Many Antioxidants be as Bad as Too Few?
- Get Your Vitamins From Foods Not Supplements
Popularity: 1% [?]