My favourite Supplements

IHN Database

Vitamin E supplementation - Are you taking the right one?

BERNE, SWITZERLAND. Vitamin E occurs in eight different forms of which the two most important are alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol. Alpha-tocopherol is the predominant form found in human tissues and blood plasma and the primary form used in vitamin supplements. It is a powerful antioxidant, which is incorporated into very low-density cholesterol and helps protect against atherosclerosis. Gamma-tocopherol is the most abundant vitamin E form in the diet and tends to accumulate primarily in the skin, muscles, veins and fat tissue.

A team of American and Swiss researchers now suggests that gamma-tocopherol may be equally important for human health. They point out that a large portion of the gamma-tocopherol obtained from the diet (walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and sesame seeds are good sources) is metabolized into gamma-CEHC, which in itself has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Gamma-tocopherol is an excellent inhibitor of reactive nitrogen oxide species that are associated with inflammation. There is also substantial evidence that gamma-tocopherol helps prevent heart disease and prostate cancer. Unfortunately, there is also substantial evidence that supplementing with alpha-tocopherol "crowds out" the gamma-tocopherol in tissues and blood plasma. Thus people who supplement solely with alpha-tocopherol may deprive themselves of the benefits of gamma-tocopherol. In contrast, supplementation with gamma-tocopherol increases blood and tissue concentrations of both alpha- and gamma-tocopherol. The researchers conclude that controlled intervention studies in humans are clearly required in order to establish the relative merits of supplementation with these two forms of vitamin E.
Jiang, Qing, et al. Gamma-tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in the US diet, deserves more attention. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 74, December 2001, pp. 714-22

category search
Keyword Search

My favourite Supplements

copyright notice