Welcome to another edition of the Doctors Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health. Today it is Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is an important nutrient that helps support our immune system and protect cells against oxidative damage. Like many other vitamins and micronutrients, Vitamin E cannot be produced in the body, so we need to get it from our diet. That is where the confusion lies. What form do I take? How much? Are there any side effects I should be concerned with?
This episode of the Common Sense MD gets into the weeds of Vitamin E. Take a moment to educate yourself on its benefits, forms, and signs of deficiency. Remember the goal is your optimal health.
- Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging. Free radical damage is involved in atherosclerosis, contributes to cancer, causes vision loss, and many other chronic conditions related to inflammation.
- Vitamin E is found in plants, oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
- Deficiencies are rare because Vitamin E is so plentiful in foods. Usually a deficiency will occur in people that have major GI digestive disorders, or they don’t absorb fat well, i.e., conditions like pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease.
- Signs of a Vitamin E deficiency: retinal problems, peripheral neuropathies, ataxia (loss of motor coordination).
- If you are on blood thinners, Vitamin E may increase your risk of bleeding. Hold off on taking it prior to any kind of surgery. Vitamin E may also decrease effectiveness of chemotherapy. Remember, for cancer you don’t want to take antioxidants. Cancers don’t like oxygen, so you don’t want to take antioxidants. Oxygen kills cancer.
- If you are on Niacin to try to raise your HDL (good cholesterol), sometimes Vitamin E may negate that benefit. This is rare. It doesn’t mean Niacin won’t work, it just may not raise your HDL as much.
Possible Benefits of Vitamin E
- Vitamin E helps balance cholesterol (at least prevents oxidation of your LDL).
- Vitamin E helps the immune system.
- Vitamin E slows aging, because it decreases oxidative stress that causes aging.
- Vitamin E repairs damaged skin. It decreases inflammation in your skin. Combined with Vitamin C, it can be really helpful. It even treats sunburns. It’s also good for your hair (thickens hair).
- Vitamin E helps to balance hormones. It is especially great for women with PMS and fibro cystic breast disease.
- Vitamin E (along with Vitamin A) helps to protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration.
- Vitamin E helps with people that already have cognitive decline (slows down progression).
- Vitamin E may help prevent cancer.
- Vitamin E helps endurance and muscle growth.
- Vitamin E is important during pregnancy for proper development of the baby.
- Vitamin E protects your cell membranes.
Forms of Vitamin E (Tocopherols and Tocotrienols)
- There are 8 total forms of Vitamin E, but only 2 major different forms (Tocopherols and Tocotrienols).
- Tocopherols and Tocotrienols work for different things. They’re cousins. Tocopherols are what most people think about when they think about Vitamin E.
- Tocotrienols have unique properties, lowering cholesterol is one of them. It’s the most common thing I put people on that can’t take a statin (or don’t want to). Tocotrienols suppress breast cancer cells and neurodegeneration, as well.
- Tocopherols are best for inhibition of platelet aggregation (sticking together of your blood, which causes heart disease). It’s also good for preventing cell proliferation (think cancer).
- You always have to remember that you want to use the Alpha Tocopherols (which are the natural tocopherols) and the Gamma Tocopherol. Delta and Beta aren’t studied as much. You see them as D Alpha Tocopherol and Gamma Tocopherol.
- Synthetic forms will have a DL on the bottle. You don’t want to use this. Look for the “L”. If you find negative studies on Vitamin E, either they are using way too much, or are using the synthetic “L” form.
- Do you cancel out the benefits of Gamma when you use the Alpha? I’ve looked at this extensively, and you can use them together.
- You don’t want to take the Alpha Tocopherols at the same time you take the Tocotrienols. They could compete for the same receptor sites. I like to separate them out by 8 hours (some authorities say you only need 2 hours in between).
- Tocotrienols are best used when mixed (all the forms are together). Lowers cholesterol naturally, protects the brain, protects kidneys, helps prevent bone loss, osteoporosis, and osteopenia, and helps with fatty liver disease.
- I recommend both forms. Separate the use of them.
- The Doctor Rogers Super Vitamin has the appropriate amount of the D alpha Tocopherol form. I take a mixed tocotrienols with Gamma E separately.
- Don’t take large doses. The upper limit for tocopherols is 400 IU. For mixed tocotrienols, it’s 300-400mg.
These are just bullet points from my own research. Watch the video for more elaboration, and as always, do your own research. Your health span depends on it!
Till next week.
Watch the full video on Vitamin E: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zq0y-11ArM&t=251s