One thing we are always preaching when it comes to supplementation, is that there should be no down side. Supplementation is all about adding to the health of our body and the performance we are working towards. We eat whole foods, we follow a strict training plan and supplement with nutrients that promote the fitness lifestyle. Vitamin E is a nutrient found in countless supplements that is often tainted. Remember, supplements are concentrated forms of nutrients for good or bad.
Two different forms of Vitamin E
Vitamin E no doubt is a necessary and desirable part of your nutritional regimen. However, it should be noted that there are two different forms used in supplements. One our bodies love and the other causes a train wreck of DNA damage.
The two different types of vitamin E are called isomers. Isomers are molecules with the same chemical formula but different chemical structures. The synthetic isomer of Vitamin E is called Dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate.
The synthetic Dl-alpha tocopherol is a byproduct of petrochemical dependent manufacturing. The naturally source vitamin E is called D-alpha-tocopherol and can be found in seeds, nuts, wheat germ, spinach and many other whole foods. As you can see the general consumer looking for the antioxidants support of vitamin E could and does easily look right over that subtle “l” after the “D.”
Problems with Dl-alpha-tocopherol
Following is a list of conclusions from different studies related to Dl-alpha-tocopherol. Essentially what you are going to find is that all the negative publicity towards Vitamin E if related to the synthetic Dl- form. Hopefully, this will help you make an educated decision and separate the hype from the help!
Benefits of Naturally Sourced Vitamin E
Now how about looking at a few of the positive benefits of naturally sourced Vitamin E.
- Acts as powerful antioxidant
- Helps recycle the mother of all antioxidants, glutathione
- Helps relieve skin inflammation post sunburn
- Decreases fibrosis caused by radiation and autoimmune disease
- Improves liver disease caused by excess alcohol
- May decrease risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Decreases bleeding in the skull of premature infants
- Aids in muscle performance and strength gains in elderly
- Slows memory loss in Alzheimer’s
We are not recommending anybody start supplementing with vitamin E, but if you are please be sure to check your label and make sure it is d-alpha-tocopherol and not Dl-alpha-tocopherol! But don't stop there. Make sure there is also mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols in your vitamin E supplement to get the full spectrum of benefits.