Mixed Tocopherols and its Newly
When vitamin E was first discovered in 1922,
scientists mistakenly concluded that vitamin E was a single compound - d-alpha tocopherol. For the next
70-80 years vitamin E supplements contains only d-alpha
Only in the last decade have scientists
discovered the important health benefits of the long-ignored
'black-sheep' members: d-gamma, d-delta and d-beta tocopherol.
These have many properties, including
anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective activities. Some of the
benefits offered by d-gamma, d-beta and d-delta tocopherol are
similar to those of d-alpha tocopherol but others are completely
different. Hence while d-alpha tocopherol alone does provide
certain benefits, vitamin E supplements give more benefits when
they contain all four tocopherol members of the vitamin E
family. Therefore if you are taking d-alpha tocopherol alone,
you may be missing out on the synergistic benefits offered by
the whole tocopherol family.
Vitamin E for All
Everyone should take vitamin E, especially
heart patients. Doctor discovered back in the 1940s that vitamin E benefited patients
who suffered from cardiovascular disease. Today most health
practitioners agree that everyone can benefit from vitamin E
because It Is a potent fat-soluble antioxidantlS1 and is crucial
for protecting against free-radical damage that results in
Vitamin E helps protect against oxidation of
LDL cholesterol and raise "good" HDL cholesterol. It's been
shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, rev up the immune
system, fight cancer and lower the risk of developing cataracts.
The surprising development is that while high levels of dietary
vitamin E have consistently shown these effects, typical vitamin
E supplements have not. And there is a reason.
Gamma Tocopherol- The 'Star' of the Vitamin E
The latest research
places particular importance on the recently discovered benefits
of gamma tocopherol as found in mixed tocopherol vitamin E
supplements. Since taking large doses alpha tocopherol depletes
plasma levels of gamma-tocopherol, the health-conscious consumer
who takes only alpha tocopherol supplements may need to
reconsider this practice. Likewise, most vitamin E supplements
provide only alpha tocopherol. New evidence suggests that this
may be inadequate supplementation.
After reviewing numerous studies, the authors
concluded that it was time to abandon the outdated view that
only alpha tocopherol is important and to conduct more research
on gamma tocopherol, the promising 'other' vitamin E.
A few large studies have shown immense
benefits of vitamin E ill reducing cardiovascular disease and
death from heart attack, while others have been unsuccessful in
showing similar results. This discrepancy may well be due to the
fact that only alpha tocopherol was studied in isolation, while
mixed tocopherols (especially gamma) were not considered.
This may also explain why vitamin E found ill
rood is more effective than the conventional vitamin E
supplements containing only alpha tocopherol in reducing death
from cardiovascular disease. Food provides a broader spectrum of
the vitamin E family than conventional vitamin E supplement.
Alpha-to-Gamma Tocopherol Ratio and Coronary Heart
A Swedish study found
that patients with coronary heart disease had lower levels of
gamma tocopherol and a higher alpha-to-gamma ratio than healthy
Mixed Tocopherols: Powerful Fat-Soluble Antioxidant
Researchers are now showing that the vitamin E
team is much more effective as an antioxidant than alpha
tocopherol alone. The different forms of vitamin E have
complementary effects as free-radical scavengers.
Together they can fight a wider spectrum of
free radicals than alpha tocopherol alone.
Free radicals are naturally produced in the
body as byproducts of metabolism within the cell. They are also
formed in the body if you inhale smog, house-cleaning detergents
or cigarette smoke, drink polluted water or take drugs.
Exercise, exposure to sunlight, illnesses and high blood sugar
can also contribute to the production of free radicals.
One particular research group found that gamma
tocopherol, as found in mixed tocopherol supplements, is
significantly more effective than alpha tocopherol in inhibiting
the powerful and harmful oxidizing agent, peroxynitrite.
Gamma tocopherol can, therefore, protect cells against the
mutagenic and carcinogenic effects of this damaging reactive
nitrogen species. Nitrogen free radicals playa role in the
development of atherosclerosis (hardening of artery), and also
Anti-inflammatory Properties of Gamma (Mixed)
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.
Free radicals can stimulate and intensify
inflammation by turning on genes that promote inflammation. Many
serious degenerative conditions, including atherosclerosis,
various types of cancer and Alzheimer's disease, appear lo be
promoted by chronic inflammation.
found that gamma tocopherol plays a
superior role in suppressing inflammation
than alpha tocopherol.
Blood Thinning Properties of Gamma (Mixed)
The tendency of blood
platelets sticking together (aggregation) promotes the formation
of blood clots, which increases the risk of heart attacks and
strokes. The blood thinning benefit of vitamin E helps to
decrease platelets sticking together.
Tocopherol- Protects Smokers' Health
Studies have shown that smokers have
notoriously low levels of vitamin E
particularly when it comes to gamma tocopherol. This is because
cigarette smoking depletes gamma tocopherol. Hence, it is vital
that smokers choose a vitamin E
that comprises of gamma (mixed)
tocopherol rather than the conventional single compound, alpha
tocopherol, as it helps smokers maintain better health.
Balancing Alpha Tocopherol with Mixed Tocopherols
If you are currently
taking the conventional vitamin E
(only alpha tocopherol), you should consider balancing your
alpha tocopherol supplement with a supplement containing mixed
tocopherols. Bear in mind that taking large amounts of alpha
tocopherol lowers the plasma levels of gamma tocopherol; taking
gamma tocopherol, on the other hand, increases the levels of
both alpha tocopherol and gamma tocopherol.