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More About Gamma E

March 25th, 2009

A question of balance: You need all the vitamin E forms, in the right balance. Most supplements provide only one form.

Vitamin E's benefits are a matter of balance, which most vitamin E supplements don't provide.

Vitamin E is a supplement category that really hasn’t caught up to the latest research, as we discussed in this blog post from January. As we explained then, vitamin E isn’t one compound but a family of eight compounds, 4 tocopherols and 4 tocopherols, each with specific and unique roles to play.  However, most vitamin E supplements only contain one form, alpha tocopherol.  The best vitamin E’s are those few that contain all eight compounds, but these remain a stubbornly small portion of the vitamin E supplement market. Customers and brands alike may not like the higher prices of full-spectrum vitamin E’s, but there’s growing evidence of their superiority. A soon-to-be published study highlights adds more evidence for a special, protective role of gamma and the other tocopherols, all of which are definitely lacking in most vitamin E supplements and multis.

This time the study pertains to prostate cancer. Using test animals whose dietary intake of vitamin E was controlled, the researchers showed that “(gamma tocopherol)-enriched mixed tocopherols significantly up-regulated the expression of Nrf2 and its related detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes thereby suppressing PIN and tumor development.”  While it’s not possible to extrapolate these results to other forms of cancer just yet, it’s quite possible that gamma and other tocopherols can play a much broader and role in detoxifying tissues and inhibiting the development of cancer. Gamma tocopherol has been shown to suppress development of one type of colon cancer.

What the vitamin E studies seem to keep coming back to is the importance of having all the forms present. There really isn’t any best or most important forms, in fact, taking one isolated form can have adverse effects, as this study suggests.

These products cost more than the typical alpha-tocopherol only vitamin E supplements, but it’s becoming clear that the extra expense is worthwhile. A good choice, and the best value for this type of supplement, is NOW Foods Tru-E BioComplex.

Balance is key to how vitamin E supports health.

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