Medical data is for informational purposes only. You should always consult your family physician, or one of our referral physicians. God made it unique and we ignore it at our peril.”’In his “The Plain Facts About Vitamin E...” Roy Erickson says:“Since discovery in 1922 Vitamin E has attained such public reconition it is the most highly promoted and widely sold of all Vitamin supplements and is now available in a variety of vaguely labeled forms and price variation that all but the most well informed become confused as to which kind is best.“Physicians using the holistic approach in applied nutrition and in preventive medicine are increasingly concerned with the difficulty their patients report in obtaining a reliably effective form from the wide variety of products on the market . . . and no wonder.The producers of these varied forms of Vitamin E present in the irrespective media to pharmaceutical firms, physicians and the public an erroneous concept that precludes a corrected evaluation of Vitamin E.“These producers claim they are able to chemically convert the whole natural Vitamin E Complex, consisting of eight currently known factors termed alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocotrienols and alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols derived by distillation from natural vegetable oils and known by the term Mixed Tocopherols,into a single acid ester (esterfied) form termed d-alpha tocopheryl acetate (or succinate, etc) and still retain biological activity provided by the synergistic working together of all eight naturally occuring factors. They term this chemically converted form “natu-ral” vs synthetic because it originated from a natural source, i.e.,vegetable oils as opposed to the synthetic dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate manufactured from chemicals.“However in their laboratory DATA SHEETS providing specifications to the users of their various forms of Vitamin E they describe d-alpha tocopheryl acetate as exhibiting unusual resistance to destruction by oxidation even in presence of minerals or at elevated temperatures; and not being subject to oxidation thetocopheryl esters do NOT serve as antioxidants as do the natural free tocopherols. Where antioxidant activity as well as Vitamin E activity is desired they recommend use of their distilled UNesterfiedMixed Tocopherols. They also admit the d-stereoisomer of d-alphatocopherol is more active than the racemic dl mixture (the synthetic form manufactured from chemicals). These chemically converted esterfied forms were produced and promoted prior to emergence of holistic physicians recognizing the benefits of antioxidant activity in anti cell-aging and neutralizing free radicals.”“Unfortunately, most if not all research on Vitamin E has been conducted using either the esterified or synthetic dl form of vita-min E under the erroneous assumption these forms were more stable and potent based on presence of higher blood levels of these two forms. However, vitamin E does not function at the blood but at the cell or tissue level. Higher blood levels may well indicate higher retention with less vitamin E released to the cell level where vita-min E functions. Because the stability factor of the esterified and/or synthetic dl forms of vitamin E made it the choice of researchers there has been NO comparative use of an all natural UNesterifiedHIGH antioxidant vitamin E with the esterified and/or synthetic dlforms under controlled conditions using all three comparatively. Until this is done only holistic preventive physicians know the real difference on results too significant to deny.“A.C.GRACE Vitamin E is unique in composition and in labelling integrity in being alone (insofar as search among the many Vitamin E products determines), in stating clearly the Vitamin E in our Capsules is NOT an esterified tocopheryl acetate, succinate, dlsynthetic nor ordinary Mixed Tocopherols. The ordinary Mixed Tocopherols vary in batch to batch in important alpha tocopherol potency and thus are not a reliable dosage form for this important factor as capsule potency is stated as I.U. of Vitamin E determined by adding combined potency of all tocopherols in the mixture and avoid specific reference to actual I.U. of alpha tocopherol potency per capsule. A.C. GRACE E capsules are unique in labelling potency of its capsules specifically as I.U. of d-alpha tocopherol.“Mixed Tocopherol Concentrate N.F. (N.F. = National Formulary) is the most effective form of Vitamin E in providing total biological activity PLUS full function as an antioxidant. This total effectiveness assures all four chief characteristics of the all natural UNesterfied Vitamin E, the array of needful properties outlined in[the above speech (Dr. Shute)] by a physician who pioneered innatural and high potency dosage of this very essential nutrient.”Roy Erickson adds that physicians may want to provide their patients direct from A.C. Grace. He has a computer entry for each patient so referred, and can automatically send the proper amountof Vitamin E to a designated patient, just before the patient is to runout.He says further, that “It is clear that the esterfied d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, or synthetic dl forms of Vitamin E one finds on health food, discount, supermarket shelves or mail order vitamin catalogues is cheaper, not fully effective as an antioxidant and does
few of the functions for which Vitamin E is to be taken. The most expensive vitamin E is that which does not prevent nor protect.“Unesterfied Vitamin E, means all the natural mixed toco-pherols have not been chemically processed or altered to the single acid ester d-alpha tocopheryl acetate (or succinate) esterfied forms that exhibit unusual resistance to destruction by oxidation even in the presence of minerals or at elevated temperatures. Not being subject to oxidation these tocopheryl esters do NOT serve as anti-oxidants providing anti-cell aging benefit and neutralizing the effects of harmful free radicals oxidizing.“. . . The cheapest form [of Vitamin E] is the synthetic dl types manufactured from chemicals. Next higher priced is the esterfiedd-alpha tocopheryl acetate. Higher in the industry price scale are natural Mixed Tocopherols with varying amounts of important al-pha tocopherol with cost based on the percentage of this factor present.”“Highest in cost are Concentrated Mixed Tocopherols. A.C.Grace Vitamin E is assayed for alpha tocopherol potency, then standardized and stabilized with potency of their beef gelatin, Soft gel capsules certified by assay to provide 400 I.U. of the important alpha tocopherol factor along with high antioxidant potency for reliable uniform dosage assuring maximum preventive and protective Vitamin E function.“Normally the darker the Vitamin E capsule content color the higher the antioxidant properties it will have but this color may vary from batch to batch. Light (almost water white) capsule content usually indicates the synthetic dl form of vitamin E. A lightamber capsule content is the color of esterified forms. Concentrated Mixed Tocopherols as with other natural substances canvary some in color from production batch to batch but the chemically altered and manufactured forms of vitamin E maintain a con-tinuous uniformity of capsule content color of no value inso far as product effectiveness.”Besides general health, what does all this have to do with Ar-thritis?According to Today’s Living, January 1980, “Vitamin E is often used by physicians to treat leg cramps, “restless legs,” intermittent claudication, which is a disorder causing great pain in legs and feet, and other disorders. . . . two Israeli doctors report[ed] very good results in using this vitamin for their osteoarthritic patients.”[Claudication can usually be attributed to lack of calcium or oxygen in arthritis, but obviously, if the circulatory system is clogged, and blood is scarce, then oxygen will be scarce. If Vita-
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM A DIFFERENT SOURCE
Say “vitamin E” to most health-conscious people, and they immediately think of one molecule: alpha-tocopherol. But vitamin E is not just this one molecule, but also a complex, like the B-complex. The E complex is an eight-member family, composed of eight closely related vitamin E molecules (or “vitamers”): four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Each member of the vitamin E complex has its own unique strengths, and even unique properties not shared with other E vitamers. If your “vitamin E” contains only alpha-tocopherol – or alpha tocopherol with token quantities of “mixed tocopherols” – you’re missing out on the benefits of the “other” vitamin E molecules. But more than that: studies show that unbalanced alpha-tocopherol supplementation actually depletes the body of the other members of the family, and can negate many of their benefits!
▪ After just one month of supplementing with 400 IU of alpha-tocopherol, peoples’ gamma-tocopherol levels are reduced by two-thirds. It may take as much as two years for the ratio of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol to normalize after unbalanced alpha-tocopherol supplementation is stopped!
▪ By contrast, gamma-tocopherol supplements actually raise alpha-tocopherol levels. Over the long term, tocotrienols may have a similar effect, as they are slowly converted to alpha-tocopherol over time.
▪ One of the key benefits of the tocotrienols is their ability to reduce cholesterol synthesis, by reducing the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, a key enzyme in this process. Alpha-tocopherol supplements have been shown to interfere with this action in animal experiments.
▪ While one study (the ATBC trial) found that low-dose alpha-tocopherol reduced the risk of prostate cancer, two studies suggest that high-dose alpha-tocopherol may actually increase prostate cancer risk. Some researchers think that the reason may be due to alpha-tocopherol’s ability to deplete gamma-tocopherol, since (as discussed below) some studies have found that higher levels of gamma-tocopherol, but not alpha-tocopherol alone, reduce the risk of this killer.
So just what can these other vitamin E molecules do that alpha-tocopherol can't?
▪ The tocotrienols' unique chemical structures allow them to move around more freely in cell membranes. As a result, the tocotrienols are forty to sixty times more potent antioxidants than the tocopherols in biological membranes.
▪ Extracellular fluid pressure plays a key role in the regulation of blood pressure, and high extracellular fluid pressure puts you at risk of congenstive heart failure, cardiac fibrosis, and liver cirrhosis. It was recently found that gamma-tocopherol and gamma-tocotrienol, but not alpha-tocopherol, help control extracellular fluid pressure through a key metabolite.
▪ Five studies have found that that delta-tocopherol, as well as all four tocotrienols, but not alpha-tocopherol, can cause Breast Cancer cells to commit "cellular suicide" in a test tube.
▪ Alpha-tocopherol is a good antioxidant against many kinds of free radicals, but gamma-tocopherol is much more effective in detoxifying “reactive nitrogen species,” the class of free radicals found in smog. In fact, alpha-tocopherol cannot effectively remove peroxynitrite (a key reactive nitrogen species) without gamma-tocopherol as a partner.
▪ Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have shown that high-dose tocotrienol complex can help restore cholesterol balance in people whose levels are too high. In one such trial, tocotrienols actually reversed the thickening of the arteries leading into the brain in patients with advanced carotid stenosis.
▪ COX-2 is a key enzyme in the inflammatory process. It is targeted by “COX-2 inhibitor” drugs such as Celebrex® and Vioxx.® Researchers have recently reported that gamma-tocopherol, but not alpha-tocopherol, is an effective COX-2 inhibitor. The researchers also mention that "the current finding is consistent with our recent [unpublished] observation that g[amma]T[ocopherol] supplementation attenuated inflammation-induced damage in rats."
▪ A recent study found that men who had the most gamma-tocopherol in their blood were an astounding five times less likely to develop prostate cancer than men whose blood gamma-tocopherol levels were lowest. In the same study, alpha-tocopherol and selenium levels were only found to be protective in men whose gamma-tocopherol levels were also high!
▪ When scientists tested members of the E complex to see what effect they would have on brain cells exposed to glutamate in a test tube, they found that alpha-tocotrienol, but not alpha-tocopherol, could block brain cell death caused by glutamate.
▪ A key step in the development of atherosclerosis is the invasion of injured blood vessel walls by immune cells called monocytes. A recent study found that alpha-tocotrienol actually inhibited the sticking of monocytes to the endothelial cell. Alpha-tocotrienol was much more potent than alpha-tocopherol.
▪ Researchers recently reported that tocotrienols, but not alpha-tocopherol, extend the average lifespan of flatworms, and protected them against carbonylation, a kind of free radical damage to the body’s proteins. What might this research bode for mammals?
Which “E” For the Heart?
Many studies (the HOPE, GISSI, CHAOS, Primary Prevention Project (PPP)) have now found that, despite all expectations, alpha-tocopherol does not give any protection against death from a heart attack or other heart hazards in people at high risk. Many objections have been raised against these trials, but the problem may have been that they had the wrong "vitamin E."
When you consider all the heart-protective properties of the "other" E vitamins – cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, blood-pressure reduction, inhibition of adhesion molecules, and on and on – you might expect that alpha-tocopherol, alone, is not going to be the heart cure-all many people expect it to be. It's interesting, therefore, that several studies have found that low plasma levels of gamma-tocopherol – but not alpha tocopherol – are found in patients with atherosclerosis. Three such studies have specifically found an unbalanced ratio of alpha- to gamma-tocopherol in such patients!
Likewise, in two large epidemiological studies (one involving American women, and the other including Finnish people of both genders), it’s been found that vitamin E from food, but not from supplements, was protective against death from heart disease. Why would this be? Maybe the problem lies, again, in the form of vitamin E being used. Crucially, most of the vitamin E in the food we eat is gamma-tocopherol, while most “vitamin E” supplements are overbalanced with alpha.
Alzheimer’s Disease and the E Family
There’s been evidence for a long time that free radicals are important in the degenerative process of Alzheimer’s disease. But until recently, it hasn’t been clear which kinds of free radicals are perpetrating these acts of neurological terrorism. And without an understanding of which free radicals are doing the damage, you can’t know which antioxidants are likely to be most effective in putting out the fires.
Recent research has begun to provide evidence that nitrogen-based free radicals, such as peroxynitrite, is especially virulent in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. As noted above, gamma-, but not alpha-tocopherol can detoxify nitrogen-based free radicals such as peroxynitrite. So researchers looked at levels of gamma- and alpha-tocopherol in the brains of people who had died with Alzheimer’s disease. The results: victims of Alzheimer’s disease were found to have a specific depletion of gamma-tocopherol in areas of the brain affected by the disease: alpha-tocopherol levels were the same in the brains of the Alzheimer’s casualties as in people without the disease, but gamma-tocopherol levels were found to be lower throughout the brains of people with the disease compared to the brains of those without.
These depleted levels of gamma-tocopherol corresponded with increased levels of a waste product left over when gamma-tocopherol is used up in fighting nitrogen-based free radicals. Crucially, the region-by-region pattern of used-up gamma-tocopherol followed the pattern of nitrogen-based free radical damage already established in earlier studies.
Finally, the same team showed that gamma-, but not alpha-tocopherol could significantly protect the enzyme alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase from damage by peroxynitrite. Levels of this enzyme have been found to be reduced by 50 to 75% in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s than it is in the brains of people not suffering with the disease. The researchers confirmed their suspicions: as much as 55% of the peroxynitrite damage to this Alzheimer’s-sensitive enzyme was prevented by gamma-tocopherol, while alpha-tocopherol offered only a 15% reduction at the optimal concentration.
One large, double-blind, placebo-controlled study has already shown that alpha-tocopherol supplements can provide some limited support for people with Alzheimer’s, slowing the progression of the disease. This new research suggests that gamma-tocopherol may provide far greater protection. In fact, these scientists suggest that, since “Dietary supplementation with alpha-tocopherol will decrease plasma levels of gamma-tocopherol ...it is conceivable that the beneficial effect of alpha-tocopherol supplementation are confounded by a diminuition of gamma-tocopherol pools in [Alzheimer’s disease] ... A better clinical paradigm might entail cosupplementation with gamma-tocopherol.”
Total E MAX is the first complete, full-spectrum, balanced E complex supplement in Canada, providing alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta- tocopherols and -tocotrienols in a potency designed to create an excellent E complex profile. The formula also includes Coenzyme Q10, because this nutrient plays a vital role in “recharging” E vitamins to their active antioxidant form when they are deactivated in the battle against free radicals.
Vitamin E is a team, not just a goalie: eight molecules, not one. Make sure your team is complete.
i. Baker H, Handelman GJ, Short S, Machlin LJ, Bhagavan HN, Dratz EA, Frank O. “Comparison of plasma alpha and gamma tocopherol levels following chronic oral administration of either all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate or RRR-alpha-tocopheryl acetate in normal adult male subjects.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Mar; 43(3): 382-7.
ii. Qureshi AA, Pearce BC, Nor RM, Gapor A, Peterson DM, Elson CE. “Dietary alpha-tocopherol attenuates the impact of Gamma-tocotrienol on hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase activity in chickens.” J Nutr. 1996 Feb; 126(2): 389-94.
iii. Packer L, Weber SU, Rimbach G. “Molecular aspects of alpha-tocotrienol antioxidant action and cell signalling.” J Nutr. 2001 Feb; 131(2): 369S-73S.
iv. Jiang Q, Christen S, Shigenaga MK, Ames BN. “Gamma-tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in the US diet, deserves more attention.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Dec; 74(6): 714-22.
v. Schwenke DC. “Does lack of tocopherols and tocotrienols put women at increased risk of breast cancer?” J Nutr Biochem. 2002 Jan; 13(1): 2-20.
vi. Helzlsouer KJ, Huang HY, Alberg AJ, Hoffman S, Burke A, Norkus EP, Morris JS, Comstock GW. “Association between alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, selenium, and subsequent prostate cancer.” J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Dec 20; 92(24): 2018-23.
vii. Liu M, Wallmon A, Olsson-Mortlock C, Wallin R, Saldeen T. “Mixed tocopherols inhibit platelet aggregation in humans: potentialmechanisms.” Am J Clin Nutr 2003 Mar; 77(3): 700-6.
viii. Tomeo AC, Geller M, Watkins TR, Gapor A, Bierenbaum ML. “Antioxidant effects of tocotrienols in patients with hyperlipidemia and carotid stenosis.” Lipids. 1995 Dec; 30(12): 1179-83.
ix. Ohrvall M, Sundlof G, Vessby B. “Gamma, but not alpha, tocopherol levels in serum are reduced in coronary heart disease patients.” J Intern Med. 1996 Feb; 239(2): 111-7.
x. Kontush A, Spranger T, Reich A, Baum K, Beisiegel U. “Lipophilic antioxidants in blood plasma as markers of atherosclerosis: the role of alpha-carotene and gamma-tocopherol.” Atherosclerosis. 1999 May; 144(1): 117-22.
xi. Nojiri S, Daida H, Mokuno H, Iwama Y, Mae K, Ushio F, Ueki T. “Association of serum antioxidant capacity with coronary artery disease in middle-aged men.” Jpn Heart J. 2001 Nov; 42(6): 677-90.
xii. Williamson KS, Gabbita SP, Mou S, West M, Pye QN, Markesbery WR, Cooney RV, Grammas P, Reimann-Philipp U, Floyd RA, Hensley K. “The nitration product 5-nitro-gamma-tocopherol is increased in the Alzheimer brain.” Nitric Oxide. 2002 Mar; 6(2): 221-7.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM Mercola.com 11/18/2006
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Get the Benefits of REAL Vitamin E with E-Gems Elite:
100% Natural Source Vitamin E with 100% Potency
Carlson's E-Gems Elite
Vitamin E is one of the most popular supplements, and for good reason -- it is an amazing supplement. I have been so convinced that I've been taking it for over 30 years. Vitamin E is an indispensable member of the body's antioxidant system. But that's not all. Vitamin E has other functions, some completely unrelated to its role as an antioxidant. In addition to its powerful antioxidant properties, vitamin E:
Seems to reduce heart disease risk
May lower risk of asthma and allergies
May help menstrual pain
Improves circulation in diabetics
Helps prostate and breast cancers
Is good for your brain
May help hot flashes
Discovered in 1922, it is only in the last decade that the public began to be educated about the critical fact that vitamin E is not a single compound, but a general name for a whole family of compounds. Eight forms of vitamin E have been identified as existing in nature. While all forms of vitamin E are active antioxidants inside our bodies, these isomers belong either to a sub-family of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) or a sub-family of four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta).
The major difference between the tocotrienols and the tocopherols is that the tail is saturated in the case of the tocopherols, but is polyunsaturated in the case of the tocotrienols. As with the fatty acids, a polyunsaturated structure means that the molecule is more reactive and more fluid. This means, for example, that alpha tocotrienol would be much more protective of cell membranes than alpha tocopherol. 1
Research is beginning to focus on specific tocopherols and tocotrienols, rather than on just "vitamin E," and studies are emerging that suggest tocotrienols, found in palm, rice bran and barley oils, could be the most important part of vitamin E. And a form of vitamin E called full-spectrum vitamin E, which contains a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols may be needed to protect against disease and provide maximum benefits.
I believe that, ideally, vitamin E should be consumed in the broader family of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols - and that's why I am now recommending a phenomenal mixed form of vitamin E from Carlson Labs called E-Gems Elite.
E-Gems Elite is an exclusive blend of all 8 forms (full spectrum) of natural source tocopherols and tocotrienols providing the antioxidant benefits of the entire family of vitamin E. E-Gems Elite provides 400 IU of vitamin E as d-alpha tocopherol, with the benefits of beta, delta, and substantial gamma tocopherols - plus their 4 corresponding tocotrienols.
Getting to know all the compounds in the vitamin E family of tocopherols and tocotrienols is necessary to choose the right vitamin E product and get the full benefits of this superior antioxidant and nutrient.
Important Facts You Should Know About Vitamin E
Vitamin E is essential to life – we cannot live without it.
How much vitamin E is enough? Prominent researchers believe that to perform at its best, the body needs more than the US Daily Value (DV) of 30 IU vitamin E daily and the average American diet supplies considerably less than this amount. According to renown international researcher Dr. Evan Shute, a physician recognized for his over 30 years of work with vitamin E, average healthy females should have 400 IU a day, and average healthy males 600 IU a day.
Vitamin E should be taken at mealtime – it is absorbed better when taken with meals rather than an on an empty stomach.
Inorganic Iron can DESTROY vitamin E. According to the Shute Institute, the two should be separated in the stomach by an 8-9 hour interval. However, organic iron, found in spinach, and other iron rich foods can be taken at the same time as vitamin E.
Many vitamin E labels are misleading to the consumer. Some marketed vitamin E products labeled "natural" have been tested and found to contain either all synthetic vitamin E or only part natural vitamin E. You can avoid synthetic vitamin E products by choosing labels that print the following: Independently Assayed to Guarantee 100% Potency, 100% Natural-Source Vitamin E.
Natural & Synthetic Vitamin E: Your Body Knows the Difference!
Natural vitamin E is the single molecular configuration that occurs in nature. Synthetic vitamin E is a mixture of 8 molecular configurations, 7 of which occur when made by man. The vitamin E most often referred to and sold in stores is a synthetic form of vitamin E called dl-alpha-tocopherol--but I do not recommend this type of vitamin E.
Dr. Graham Burton, associated with the National Research Council of Canada, studied the body's response to natural vitamin E compared to synthetic vitamin E. The study strongly indicates your body prefers natural vitamin E, showing that it is retained in your body many times longer than the synthetic vitamin E, with specific results showing:
5.3 times more natural vitamin E in the brain.
.6 times more natural vitamin E in red blood cells.
2.6 times more natural vitamin E in the lungs.
2.4 times more natural vitamin E in the plasma
1.9 times more natural vitamin E in the heart
1.7 times more natural vitamin E in the muscles.
Why does your body prefer natural vitamin E? Research scientist Maret Traber's work indicates that the liver preferentially recycles the natural form of vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol), causing the excretion of synthetic forms of other tocopherols.
Some researchers have questioned whether special configurations of tocopherol found only in synthetic vitamin E are actually a hindrance to the body because they tie up receptor sites, stopping the naturally occurring form of vitamin E from acting. This is like someone putting the wrong key into a lock. The right key cannot open the lock if the wrong key is in it.
Alpha Tocopherol: Vitamin E's Team Captain
By far the most popular form, alpha tocopherol has become synonymous with vitamin E. This specific tocopherol has incredible antioxidant benefits and has, in the past, shifted much of the research away from the other seven forms of vitamin E. Alpha tocopherol became synonymous with vitamin E for two main reasons: it is the most abundant of the eight in our body, and because it is by far the most effective of the eight for what we once thought was its main function - to support reproduction.
The differences of the eight members of the vitamin E family are a really big deal. Some of the eight members of the vitamin E family share similar functions and others have functions that are completely different. Also, where they go in our body is different especially for alpha tocopherol versus the others. This is because our body has a mechanism to tell alpha tocopherol from the others. The groups work better as a team than the alpha tocopherol does alone.
Gamma Tocopherol: Another of Vitamin E's Potent Disease Fighters
Our food contains all eight compounds of vitamin E, but gamma tocopherol is actually the most commonly occurring natural form of vitamin E in the American diet. Gamma tocopherol in particular also has the ability to protect against nitrogen-based free radicals, which alpha tocopherol cannot do. Nitrogen free radicals play an important role in diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including cancer, heart disease and degenerative brain disorders.
Gamma tocopherol is one of the mixed tocopherols you won't find in most supplements, but you will find a significant amount of it in E-Gems Elite. Four years ago there was a groundbreaking study that showed there was a 500 percent decrease in prostate cancer in men who had the highest level of gamma tocopherol. This is the first study that showed that gamma tocopherol had induced death in lab-grown human cancer cells while keeping normal cells complete. The typical vitamin E supplement only contains alpha tocopherol, which currently does not appear to have any of these anti-cancer properties.
The latest research places special emphasis on the newly discovered benefits of gamma tocopherol. Since taking large doses of alpha tocopherol depletes plasma levels of gamma tocopherol, the health-conscious consumer who takes only alpha tocopherol supplements needs to seriously reconsider this practice.
One study found that women who consumed most vitamin E from food sources had a 60% reduction in the risk of breast cancer, compared to women with the lowest consumption. Since gamma tocopherol is most predominant in food sources, when total vitamin E intake was considered, including supplements (presumably supplying solely alpha tocopherol), the risk of Breast Cancer was reduced by 30%. 2
A thorough review of findings about gamma tocopherol has appeared in an issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. After reviewing scores of studies, the authors conclude that it is high time to abandon the outdated view that only alpha tocopherol is important, and to conduct more research on gamma tocopherol.
Its important to note that supplementation with alpha tocopherol is not harmful. There are many studies confirming the health benefits of alpha tocopherol. But, there is also strong reason to believe that taking high doses of alpha tocopherol without balancing it with adequate gamma tocopherol (and possibly other tocopherols and tocotrienols) is less than optimal.
Promising news suggests that gamma tocopherol also has anti-inflammatory properties. The authors of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that both gamma tocopherol and its water-soluble metabolite inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX-2) activity and the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2. Alpha-tocopherol showed no anti-inflammatory activity at the same concentrations.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to several serious degenerative conditions, including atherosclerosis, various types of cancer and Alzheimer's disease. COX-2 inhibitors show promise in the fight against these diseases. Since colon cancer is highly dependent on COX-2 and the resulting prostaglandin E2, gamma tocopherol should be considered for use against disease.
And there is more to consider - because the way that the human body eliminates excess gamma tocopherol is by using the biliary route. In bile, the ratio of gamma tocopherol to alpha tocopherol is several times higher than the plasma ratio. This suggests that excess gamma tocopherol secreted into feces during supplementation may play a role in eliminating fecal mutagens and thus reduces colon cancer.
Another way which gamma tocopherol helps fight cancer may be its ability to inhibit protein kinase C activity. Both alpha tocopherol and delta-tocopherol also share this same ability.
Anti-inflammatory agents have been drawing more and more attention in regard to their anti-aging effects. Aging is associated with a decline in plasma levels of gamma-tocopherol, but not of alpha- tocopherol.
The authors of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition review also point out that regular consumption of nuts, an excellent source of gamma tocopherol, has been associated with a significantly lower risk of having a heart attack and lower cardiovascular mortality.
Gamma tocopherol is abundant in nuts such as walnuts and pecans, and in the legume peanuts. Since in addition to gamma tocopherol nuts provide short-chain omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, fiber and other nutrients, this is one healthy way to increase your gamma tocopherol. Plus, most health food stores now offer walnuts and pecans in bulk at very affordable prices.
Corn oil, soybean oil and sesame oil are all rich sources of gamma tocopherol. But, when it comes to commercially available seed oils, the problem is toxic trans-fatty acids and excess omega-6 fatty acids. Both trans-fatty acids and excess omega-6 fatty acids have been found to promote various types of degenerative disorders. Therefore, I do not recommend these oils as a source of gamma tocopherol.
To further explore the benefits of this powerful antioxidant, we will require more human studies using gamma tocopherol supplementation. We still no little about gamma tocopherol's probable synergy with other antioxidants. However, what has become clear is that gamma tocopherol is now beginning to get the attention it deserves.
Why Tocotrienol Supplementation Can Be Key to Your Health
AAnyone looking for an effective antioxidant should consider taking tocotrienols. Most vitamin E supplements contain only alpha-tocopherol whereas palm based tocotrienols contain tocotrienols, phytosterols (proven to impede absorption of cholesterol), squalene (a powerful antioxidant) and carotenoids. Recent research suggests that a combination of all these phytonutrients may be highly effective in the overall maintenance of health.
While vitamin E is generally regarded as the most important fat-soluble antioxidant, alpha tocotrienol has been shown to be 40 to 60 times more potent than alpha tocopherol in thwarting oxidative deterioration of lipids. Even more potent, delta tocotrienol is by far the most powerful antioxidant of the entire vitamin E family.
The anticancer effects of tocotrienols have garnered a lot of attention. One of the innate protectors against cancer is a process known as "apoptosis." Apoptosis is an encoded suicide program designed to protect cells from becoming cancerous. When this process fails cancer develops. Tocotrienols effectively promote apoptosis with delta-tocotrienol being twice as potent as gamma tocotrienol. 3
Potent disease fighters like delta tocotrienol are very hard to come by in a supplement. E-Gems Elite is one of the very few supplements available today that provide all of the natural source tocotrienols. Delta tocotrienol has been shown to be the most active of the tocotrienols, and is considered to be the:
Most powerful antioxidant of the vitamin E family.
Most potent tocotrienol to activate anticancer effects.
More effective at accumulating in cells compared to other tocotrienols.
Most effective member of the vitamin E for reducing endothelial expression of adhesion molecules, thereby curtailing the accumulation of inflammatory cells within the arterial wall.
Most potent tocotrienol in inducing apoptosis (cell deaths) of human Breast Cancer cells. Delta-tocotrienol was twice as potent as of gamma-tocotrienol.
Much more effective compound for inhibiting the excessive aggregation of blood platelets than vitamin E or other tocotrienols.
Another anticancer mechanism involves inhibiting enzymes within cancer cells that stimulate them to replicate. Gamma tocotrienol was shown to be three times more potent in inhibiting growth of human breast cancer cultured cells than chemotherapy drug tamoxifen. 4
Most oils and food contain tocopherols but virtually no tocotrienols. Tocotrienols only occur at very low levels in nature with the highest concentration found in palm oil. Other sources are rice bran, barley, wheat germ, saw palmetto and certain types of nuts and grains. Due to their low level, it is practically impossible to attain the amount of tocotrienols studies suggest may have a beneficial effect, from diet alone. Supplementation is key.
Because the level of tocotrienols is at such a low level in nature, it takes a huge amount of the raw material to extract out 1kg of tocotrienols. This means you'll pay more for the benefits of tocotrienols.
For every 1000kg of soy fatty acid distillate, one can extract out about 70kg of the tocopherols. In comparison, every 1000kg of palm oil, one can only theoretically extract out only 0.5kg of tocotrienols. In addition, the process to extract tocotrienols by molecular distillation is an expensive process compared to the conventional distillation processes.
Tocotrienols are extremely safe and no side effects have been reported. 5 Given the effects on platelet aggregation, you will need to inform your physician of their use if you are going in for surgery, or taking the blood thinning drug Coumadin (warfarin) or anti-platelet drugs like Ticlid (ticlopidine).
Tocotrienols are being heralded as "the vitamin E of the 21st century." Many research scientists and nutritionists, backed by extensive published research papers, agree that tocotrienols are a natural more potent vitamin E and have many additional biological benefits over the normal tocopherols. Some researchers have gone so far as to recommend that instead of focusing on tocopherols, people should start taking tocotrienols as the better vitamin E.
Understanding the Importance of Team Work
Tocopherols and tocotrienols work best as a team. In the test tube, gamma-tocopherol is destroyed by oxidants before any alpha-tocopherol is destroyed. This indicates that gamma-tocopherol actually helps the body conserve alpha-tocopherol.
And, on the skin, a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols provides longer protection than alpha-tocopherol alone. And the same team can fight a wider spectrum of free radicals than alpha-tocopherol alone.
We still do not have all the answers yet as to the exact role of each of the eight members of the vitamin E family, but we do know that vitamin E is much more than alpha-tocopherol alone. The non-alpha tocopherols and the four tocotrienols have other unique and very useful functions. That's why potency as IU tells only part of the story.
Why Carlson E-Gems Elite are My Preferred Choice
Many of my subscribers are probably familiar with the Carlson name as they are also my #1 choice for Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil. Carlson All-Natural Vitamin E products are derived from soybean oil. However, there is no reason to be concerned that these are from soy – as all of the negative elements of soy have been removed and only the valuable vitamin E elements are provided. As mentioned earlier, research supports the body's preference for natural vitamin E over synthetic vitamin E.
Physicians like myself, use and recommend Carlson Vitamin E products with confidence knowing that their patients will be getting only the highest quality of 100% natural source vitamin E with full potency guaranteed. On each Carlson Vitamin E label you will see the words:
Independently Assayed to Guarantee 100% Potency
100% Natural-Source Vitamin E
Over thirty-five years have gone into developing the Carlson All-Natural Vitamin E Line, and today it is the most complete in the world. Beginning in 1965, the Shute Institute and Medical Clinic of Canada, renown for its vitamin E research, singled out Carlson Vitamin E products for their valued recommendation.
Get The Complete Vitamin E - Order E-Gems Elite Now
E-Gems Elite is an exclusive formula of natural source tocopherols and tocotrienols that you won't find in any other supplement. And now you can get 60 softgels for just $15.95. Remember, each potent softgel contains the complete family of both tocopherols and tocotrienols. Plus E-Gems are twice as active as synthetic vitamin E inside our bodies! Order Now.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.