Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it can be stored with fat in the liver and other tissues. Vitamin E is also a component of cells, sandwiched between the fatty layers that make up cell membranes. When disease-causing free radicals come along, they hitch up to vitamin E, damaging it instead of the rest of the cell membrane. In the process, vitamin E soaks up the free radicals, and the cell is protected from harm. Vitamin C and other antioxidants can regenerate vitamin E.
But with a shortage of vita-min E, there is an increase in free radi-cals, cellular injuries, and subsequent disorders to bodily tissues. Vitamin E is thus an important an-tioxidant that saves cells from damage. Specifically, vitamin E prevents a free radical-initiated process known as “lipid peroxidation.” In a domino-like series of chemical reactions, free radicals hook up with fatty acids in the body to form substances called “peroxides.” Per-oxides attack cell membranes, setting off a chain reaction that creates many more free radicals. In addition, vitamin E protects beta carotene from destruction in the body and is an important guardian of blood vessel health. Vitamin E also interrupts the plaque-forming process that can clog your arteries.
Other important benefits include:Helps Regulate Blood SugarIn a study that looked at vitamin E’s ef-fect on glucose metabolism and insulin action, 10 control (healthy) subjects and 15 people with type 2 diabetes under-went an oral glucose tolerance test be-fore and after taking 900 milligrams of vitamin E for four months. In the control group, vitamin E improved the action of insulin and the body’s handling of glucose. In the diabetic patients, these benefits were even more pronounced, suggesting that vitamin E is a useful nutrient for blood sugar control. Helps Fight Heart and Blood Vessel DiseaseHeart disease is the major cause of death in men and women. Vitamin E, however, may prove beneficial against it. In a 14-week study of 21 patients, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that taking 1,200 IU of vitamin E dai-ly reduced LDL cholesterol oxidation — a process that, if not stopped, can lead to clogged arteries, a precursor of heart attack and stroke.Vitamin E and ExerciseMany studies on antioxidants and exercise have focused on vitamin E, with intriguing results.
For example: ● An 800-milligram vitamin E supplement taken daily helped guard against muscle damage and free radical production, in subjects age 55 and older who exercised by walking or running downhill. ● Supplementation may prevent the destruction of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. That means your muscles benefit from higher or sustained oxygen delivery while you exercise. ● Supplementation may improve your exercise performance if you work out at high altitudes; however, it is not known yet whether there is a similar benefit when you exercise at sea level. Because of vitamin E’s positive effect on the immune system and other factors, we believe supplementation with this vitamin is important. Our Natural Vitamin E Plus™, made from natural vegetable sources and therefore well assimilated by the body, is a good source of vitamin E. We recommend 1 capsule a day, taken with meals.
Jain, S.K., et al. 1996. The effect of modest vitamin E supplementation on lipid peroxidation products and other cardiovascular risk factors in diabetic patients. Lipids 31: S87-S90 .Kleiner, S.M., and M. Greenwood-Robinson. 2006. Power eating . Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinet-icsPaolisso, G., et al. 1993. Pharma-cologic doses of vitamin E improve insulin action in healthy subjects and non-insulin-dependent diabetic sub-jects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 57: 650-656 .