Vitamin E

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vitamin e

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is actually a family of 8 antioxidant compounds.

These consist of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and four tocotrienols (also alpha through delta).

The alpha-tocopherol form is the one found in the largest quantities in human blood and tissue.

Small amounts of the gamma form are also found.

Alpha-tocopherol acts as an antioxidant in our bodies.

As an antioxidant, vitamin E prevents cell damage by preventing the oxidation of fats and the formation of free radicals.

It protects other vitamins from being destroyed by oxygen and helps your body use vitamin A.

It protects the LDL cholesterol from oxidation as well.

Oxidized LDL leads to the development of cardiovascular disease.

It also prevents blood clots and helps your immune system.

Vitamin E is necessary for life, and Americans typically don’t get enough of it from their diet.

Only 8% of men and 2.4% of women get enough from diet alone.

You at least need the DRI for vitamin E, and perhaps more.

It’s hard to get this nutrient from foods alone, so supplementation is recommended.

Don’t take more than the recommended daily amount.

The most common dietary form of vitamin E is the gamma-tocopherol form.

But, this form isn’t absorbed by your body in any quantity because your liver uses alpha-tocopherol for delivery to your tissues.

There’s about 10 times more alpha-tocopherol than gamma-tocopherol in your blood.

But, the gamma form may have some unique benefits in suppressing colon cancer, making a sufficient amount of dietary vitamin E even more important to good health.

Vitamin E deficiency may result in damage to red blood cells and nerves.

Signs of deficiency can include infertility (in both men and women), menstrual problems, neuromuscular impairment, shortened red blood cell life span, miscarriage, and uterine degeneration.

People with impaired balance and coordination and/or damage to the retina may also be deficient.

People with severe malnutrition, genetic defects affecting liver proteins, or fat malabsorption problems like those caused by cystic fibrosis, cholestatic liver disease, or Crohn’s disease may have a vitamin E deficiency.

True vitamin E deficiency is rare, but not getting enough is relatively common.

Low levels of vitamin E in your body have been linked to both bowel cancer and breast cancer.

The d-alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E is the most potent, and is the one we recommend.

Also, natural sources of vitamin E are better than synthetic vitamin E because natural vitamin E is more available for use by your body.

Synthetic vitamin E is only 67% as active as the natural form.

Read labels closely.

The natural form of vitamin E is listed as d-alpha-tocopherol, rrr-alpha-tocopherol, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate or d-alpha-tocopherol succinate.

The synthetic form is listed as dl-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac alpha-tocopherol (watch out for the l after the d).

The synthetic form costs only about half as much as the natural form, but is significantly less potent.

Some vitamin manufacturers have been known to mix 10% natural and 90% synthetic vitamin E, then label the product natural.

Your responsibility is to check the label and make sure it says 100% potency or 100% natural vitamin E.

Sources

Vitamin E is found in avocados, cold-pressed vegetable oils (olive, soybean, corn, canola, safflower, and sunflower), dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts), seeds, and whole grains.

Significant quantities are also found in brown rice, cornmeal, dulse, eggs, kelp, desiccated liver, milk, oatmeal, organ meats, soybeans, sweet potatoes, watercress, wheat, and wheat germ.

Herbs containing vitamin E include alfalfa, bladderwrack, dandelion, dong quai, flaxseed, nettle, oat straw, raspberry leaf, and rose hips.

Comments

Your body needs zinc in order to keep the right level of vitamin E in your blood.

Adding vitamin E to fats and oils prevents them from becoming rancid.

If you take both vitamin E and iron supplements, take them at different times of the day.

Cautions

If you’re taking a blood thinner, don’t take more than 200 IU of vitamin E daily.

If you have diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, or an overactive thyroid, don’t take more than the recommended dose.

If you have high blood pressure, start with a small amount, like 100 IU daily, and increase slowly to the desired amount.

If you have retinitis pigmentosa that’s not associated with vitamin E deficiency, don’t take any supplemental vitamin E.

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

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