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Vitamin E - Super Important Anti-oxidant


by Various Research Material

Vitamin E ...
...the super vitamin used in numerous cancer studies and cancer research

Vitamin E consists of a group of fat-soluble compounds which fall into two sub-groups: First the tocopherols - widely available in Europe and second, the tocotrienols - not on the European approved list and thought to be actively "weaker" (but see breast cancer below).

The History of Vitamin E

In 1922 researchers stumbled on the fact that rats fed wheatgerm and lettuce were restored to full reproductive health.

Factor X was dubbed the fertility vitamin and in 1936 it was renamed vitamin E.


Vitamin E is a super vitamin. The ultimate free radical buster.

Vitamin E helps prevent cell membranes, especially brain cells, blood cells and immune cells from oxidative attack.

It literally stops the fat in them turning rancid. It is especially protective of both the B and T lymphocytes in the immune system.

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, particularly in the lungs, protecting against toxic attack and air pollution.

Vitamin E protects against free radical damage throughout the body. Selenium helps its action, whilst inorganic iron destroys vitamin E's action.

It prevents the oxidative destruction of other vitamins such as beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin A.

Vitamin E works synergistically with Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

And it has certain, and very clear, anti-cancer benefits. It appears, for example, to inhibit the growth of cancer cells at the local level.

Vitamin E and Cancer - A Summary

  • Stomach cancer Italian research has linked low vitamin E levels with stomach cancer.
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat A study in 1992 by the NCI showed that regular usage of vitamin E cut these cancers by 50 percent.
  • Lung cancer A study in 1990 at Louisiana University Medical Centre showed people with lung cancer had significantly lower blood levels of vitamin E.

This was confirmed by a study in 1991 at John Hopkins School USA.

Again in 1991, a Finnish study amongst non-smoking men showed that men with the lowest blood levels of vitamin E were three times more likely to develop cancer.

  • Breast cancer In the Spring of 2002, Life Extension magazine published an article in which it reviewed 12 different studies on vitamin E.

Its conclusion was that vitamin E (tocotrienol - but not tocopherol) reduced risk by as much as 60 percent.

Our own St Bartholemew's Hospital has also shown that women with breast cancer have lower blood levels of vitamin E (1992).

  • Cervical cancer Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York showed women with the most severe lesions had lower levels of blood serum vitamin E.

This was confirmed in Seattle where the highest blood serum levels reduced risk by two thirds. * Prostate cancer The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (1998) showed that a Finnish study, whilst studying the vitamin E effects on smokers, spotted that among over 29,000 males, the vitamin E study group had a 41 percent decrease in prostate cancer over the placebo group. The protected group took 50mgs of alpha-tocopherol per day for 5-8 years.

  • All cancers Researchers at Tufts University in Boston (1990) showed that in people over 60 years of age, a daily dose of 800 IU's of vitamin E significantly improved the immune system function.

Natural Sources of Vitamins

Both plant and animal tissues contain Vitamin E; however since it is fat-soluble, the best animal sources of vitamin E tend to come with high fat!

Tocotrienol vitamin E is found in unrefined palm oil and corn oil; whilst vitamin E is generally found in sunflower seeds, almonds, soya and wheatgerm (best sources) plus green leafy vegetables, liver, egg yolk, fresh oily fish, nuts in general, pumpkin and seseme seeds, sweet potato, butter and whole grains.

The Enemies of Vitamins

Smoking, inorganic iron, cholesterol reducing drugs, mineral oils and polyunsaturated fatty acids will all reduce levels of vitamin E in the blood serum. Women who are breast feeding or pregnant, and people with low fat diets almost certainly need supplementation. Overcooking, particularly of oils, destroys vitamin E content.

Facts About Vitamin E ... ...and the role that vitamin E has within the body.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin made up of seven compounds called tocopherols, with alpha being the most active.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and can be enhanced by other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Selenium.

This vitamin can be obtained within its natural form, or it can be synthesised (in other words a synthetic form of vitamin E), but the natural form of vitamin E is far more readily available for absorption by the body.

Vitamin E is destroyed by cooking in open pans, but even more so by deep frying. However, some may also be lost during the commercial deep freezing, although no where near as much.

Absorption of vitamin E takes place in the intestines with the help of bile salts.

High concentrations of vitamin E can be found within the liver, fat storing tissues and muscles such as the heart. Also this vitamin can be found in the adrenal, pituitary and sex glands.

If a person has excess vitamin E, then it is excreted through the urine.

Some of the most significant food sources of vitamin E are found in avocado, egg yolk, sesame seeds, tahini, wheatgerm and whole grains.

Vitamin E requires many important co-nutrients, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, Selenium, Inositol, manganese, zinc and Vitamin A.

Vitamin E is required by the body, for many different functions including protection of cells, fatty acids and certain vitamins form oxidation.

Vitamin E also promotes normal blood clotting, preventing Vitamin A and saturated fats from breaking down into harmful substances in the body, the release of insulin from the pancreas, maintaining cardiovascular health, the increase in levels of “good” cholesterol and regeneration of the skin.

Your vitamin E requirements should be increased if you have stress, diabetes, drink chlorinated water, smoke, are going through menopause or subjected to high levels of pollutants.

If you are taking anything such as lipid lowering drugs, oral contraceptives, estrogens, do a lot of strenuous activity, have a high consumption of refined foods or have malabsorption disorders, then your intake of Vitamin E should be increased to try and compensate.

Another point: Vitamin E is not toxic to the body, although if taken in large quantities (1000+IU per day) then this vitamin may cause the user muscle weakness, fatigue or a possibility of gastro-intestinal upsets.

Insulin dependant diabetics should always consult their health care provider prior to taking a vitamin E supplement, as the level of insulin could be reduced and should be monitored, as with people taking certain heart medications, as the person should be monitored and possibly their medication adjusted.

By combating the free radicals that attack polyunsaturated fats in the body, Vitamin E protects cellular membranes from oxidative damage.

There are other antioxidants that can enhance Vitamin E, such as Vitamin C and selenium.

Long Natural Health offers Premier Vitamin E Complete with a full range of mixed Tocotrienols and Tocopherols. Vitamin E Complete is manufactured by Premier Research Labs, a leader in high quality dietary supplements. Each serving provides 400IU of vitamin E.

Shop all Vitamin E and whole food vitamin E supplements