In human beings, vitamin E is the most important fat-soluble antioxidant. It prevents the potentially harmful oxidation of fat compounds and enhances the functioning of vitamin A. It is an anti-pollutant for the lungs. It helps the healing of scar tissue when taken internally and also when applied externally.
The best natural sources are wheat germ, whole grains, vegetable oils, soya beans, nuts, apples, apricots and green vegetables.
Vitamin E deficiency may cause anemia, as a result of red blood cell destruction and neurological dysfunction, myopathies, and diminished erythrocyte life span. New clinical evidence from heavy drinkers suggests that alcohol may increase oxidation of Alpha-Tocopherol. Increased demand has also been observed in premature infants and patients with malabsorption.
Your best bet for a good blend of mixed tocopherols in a softgel form is LifeSource Vitamins Vitamin E with 20% Mixed Tocopherols.
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Current Research on Vitamin E:
Photo-protective Effects: Tocopherol may play an essential role in the defense of eye and skin cells against many light-induced diseases and/or conditions. Vitamin E may share a protective role in the membranes of plant and animal cells that are naturally predisposed to photo-oxidative stress. It may play a prophylactic role against diseases and conditions of the eye (cataractogenesis and retinal photodeterioration) and skin (erythrocyte photochemolysis, photoerythema, photoaging and photocarcinogenesis).
UV radiation can cause adverse effects such as sunburn, immunologic suppression, photo-aging, skin tumors, and photosensitivity reactions. In a study looking at protective effects of vitamin C and vitamin E against sunburn, researchers found combined vitamins C and E reduced sunburn reaction. It was concluded that this might help reduce the risk for later UV-induced skin damage.
Crohn's Disease and Short Bowel Syndrome: Vitamin E deficiency can result from malabsorption of the vitamin due to fat malabsorption resulting from Crohn's disease with short-bowel syndrome.
A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that vitamin E preparations may aid in intestinal absorption of vitamin E in short-bowel syndrome. The study also showed that vitamin E supplementation may help stem and allow for a partial reversal of the neurologic complications seen with vitamin E deficiency.
Heart Disease: Vitamin E may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The hypothesis is that vitamin E helps protects against the oxidation of unsaturated lipids in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle that initiates a complex sequence of events leading to atherosclerotic plaque.
Stroke: Increased dietary vitamin E concentrations may be associated with a lower risk of stroke. In a study done in 2000, vitamin E supplementation decreased the risk of cerebral infarction, without elevating the risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage. The authors concluded that vitamin E supplementation may help prevent ischemic stroke in high-risk hypertensive patients, although further studies are needed.
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: There is increased oxidative damage in the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and excess of free radicals. Vitamin E can prevent free-radical-mediated cell death and possibly diminish cognitive deterioration. The results of a clinical trial in 2000 showed that treatment with vitamin E delayed the time to important functional endpoints. It suggested that vitamin E may slow the disease progression in moderately advanced AD patients.
The use of vitamin C and E supplements may protect against the development of dementia and poor cognitive functioning. Results from a study on dementia in elderly men suggested that vitamins E and C might protect against vascular dementia and possibly enhance cognitive function later in life.
Diabetes: Individuals with low vitamin E concentrations may be at greater risk for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). In 1999, a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found an inverse association between serum a-tocopherol concentration and occurrence of IDDM. Therefore, vitamin E may provide protection against IDDM, which supports the hypothesis that antioxidants may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of IDDM.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased oxidative stress, which is related to an imbalance in the cardiac autonomic nervous system. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E may have beneficial effects on the cardiac autonomic nervous system. A study on patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and cardiac autonomic neuropathy showed that 600-mg/d vitamin E administration for 4 months was associated with decreased plasma concentrations of glycated hemoglobin, insulin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Vitamin E also improved indexes of oxidative stress. Researchers concluded that chronic vitamin E administration improved the ratio of cardiac sympathetic to parasympathetic tone in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Immune System: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and can assist in the modulation of the immune system. A study investigated the immunologic and antioxidant effects of vitamin E supplementation in healthy Chinese men and women. The data showed elevated plasma vitamin E concentrations and depression in plasma malondialdehyde and urinary DNA adduct 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine. The oxidative stress of T-lymphocyte is lowered significantly by vitamin E supplementation. Since it is known that high levels of oxidative stress such as H2O2 inhibited T-cell proliferation, this suggests that vitamin E has an important role in immune function.
Cataracts: Epidemiological studies show a protective role of vitamins as antioxidants in the prevention of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. In a review of 11 studies, 8 studies found vitamin E was inversely correlated with cataract risk. Based on the observations, researchers concluded that a diet high in vitamins C, E, and carotenoids, may aid in decreasing the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in Children: A study was done looking at the effects of vitamin E in lowering serum aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase concentrations in children with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) that is associated with obesity. The a-tocopherol concentrations increased significantly with vitamin E supplementation and the serum aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase concentrations normalized. Researchers concluded that children with NASH should be encouraged to be involved in a weight loss regimen and consider taking supplemental a-tocopherol.
Natural-vs.-Synthetic Vitamin E: Natural and synthetic forms of a-tocopherol have been shown to be absorbed equally well. A study giving subjects various doses of natural and synthetic vitamin E showed significantly less oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in the subjects given either form of 400 or 800 IU of vitamin E. Researchers concluded that both natural and synthetic forms of vitamin E are as effective inhibiting the oxidation of LDL-C in humans. However natural is always the best way to get absorption into your bloodstream.
LifeSource Vitamins - Vitamin E 400 IU, 200 softgels, most important fat-soluble antioxidant prevents the potentially harmful oxidation of fat compounds, enhances the functioning of vitamin A, helps the healing of scar tissue.