Vitamin E is a magical natural nutrient with plentiful talents. It is one of the most important vitamins within the cell membrane. It is fat-soluble hence the ability to enter the cell membrane. As a result of this, it is critical in preventing oxidation of LDL-cholesterol.
Types: Vitamin E comes in various forms including alpha, beta, delta, epsilon, eta, gamma and zeta.26 The most potent and natural form is d-alpha-tocopherol. This should not be mistaken for the synthetic form dl-alpha-tocopherol.
Sources: Rich sources are cold-pressed vegetable oils (extra virgin olive oil), whole grains, almonds, sunflower seeds, and soybeans. It is also found in beef, egg yolk, lettuce and wheat germ. It is easily destroyed during food processing.
Metabolism and absorption: It is absorbed through the bowel with the help of bile. The absorption rate is about 70% in the gut. It is stored in the fatty tissue, muscles, heart and so on. Rancid oil or fat, chlorine and ferric oxide destroy the vitamin E. Vitamin E can get oxidised by ingestion of large amounts of polyunsaturated oils.26
Functions: Vitamin E has so many functions, but it is beyond the scope of this book to list them all. However, I will mention a few:
- Vitamin E is a great protector of CHD as it prevents oxidation of LDL-cholesterol and reduces platelet aggregation (stickiness).
- It works in partnership with vitamin C to combat oxidative stress.
- It works in synergy with selenium especially against lipid peroxides in glutathione peroxidase system. Vitamin E becomes 50 time more potent when taken with selenium.
- It is good in the treatment of diabetes as it reduces insulin resistance hence lowering the blood sugar level.60
- It dilates the blood vessels and improves the flow of blood to the heart.
- It augments the effect of Aspirin in protecting against heart attack and stroke by reducing platelet stickiness and clot formation.
- It is anti-aging due to its potent antioxidant activity.
- It protects oxidation of vitamin C and B group in the gut.
- It enhances the immune system, regulates synthesis of sex hormones, and protects against pollutants such as cigarette smoke, ozone, radiation, mercury and nitrogen oxide.
Indications: It is beneficial in coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, fibrocystic disease of the breast, PMS, infection, burns, wound healing, diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cataract, macular degeneration, pregnancy, lactation and many more conditions.
1 mg = 1.49 IU
RDA: 10-15 IU
EDR: 250-1000 IU
I recommend supplementation of 400-800 IU of natural vitamin E per day.
Safety: Doses of 1600mg=2384 IU per day may increase red blood cells fragility or decrease white blood cells anti-microbial activity.26
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