Vitamin E

(Known as Alpha-tocopherol, Beta-tocopherol, D-alpha-tocopherol, Delta-tocopherol, Gamma-tocopherol, Vitamin E)

tickAntioxidant
tickVitamin
tickSupports the immune system
tickAids health
How does it work?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin present in many foods, especially certain fats and oils. One of many antioxidants, vitamin E may block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to the development of various health problems.
Who is it used for?
Vitamin E is essential for anyone who is healthy and wants to stay that way. It's particularly important for people who exercise regularly, and for those suffering from illness or infection.
How does it work?
There are both natural and synthetic forms of vitamin E. In fact, vitamin E actually refers to a family of eight related compounds, the tocopherols and tocotrienols (in four different forms, alpha, beta, delta and gamma). Most experts recommend natural vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol succinate) or natural mixed tocopherols. The synthetic form is called dl-alpha-tocopherol, and is inferior to the natural form of vitamin E.

Vitamin E is important to people who exercise regularly because it helps to prevent some of the muscle damage that occurs as a result of exercise. Exercise increases the production of substances called free radicals, which can damage muscle tissue, resulting in inflammation and muscle soreness. Antioxidants such as vitamin E reduce this damage by neutralizing free radicals before they can damage the body [1, 2]. Several well-controlled studies show that vitamin E reduces measures of free radical activity and muscle damage caused by strenuous exercise [3, 4, 5].

Wheat germ oil, nuts and seeds, whole grains, egg yolks, and leafy green vegetables all contain vitamin E. Although some vegetable oils contain significant amounts of vitamin E, many of the oils sold in supermarkets have had the vitamin E removed in processing. The level of vitamin E needed to reduce muscle damage and soreness is difficult to get from food alone, and usually requires the use of supplements. Symptoms of deficiency include muscle weakness, loss of muscle, abnormal eye movements, and impaired vision.
How do I use it?
Vitamin E toxicity is rare and supplements are widely considered to be safe. The National Academy of Sciences has established the daily tolerable upper intake level for adults to be 1,000 milligrams of vitamin E, which is equivalent to 1,500 IU of natural vitamin E or 1,100 IU of synthetic vitamin E.
What results can I expect?
Supplementation with vitamin E helps to reduce muscle damage and soreness, allowing faster recovery from intense exercise.
What can it be combined with?
Vitamin E can be combined with a range of other nutrients for maximum benefit. Preferably, it should be taken with a complete multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.

1. Kanter M. Free radicals, exercise and antioxidant supplementation. Proc Nutr Soc 1998;57:9-13 [review].
2. Dekkers JC, van Doornen LJ, Kemper HC. The role of antioxidant vitamins and enzymes in the prevention of exercise-induced muscle damage. Sports Med 1996;21:213-38 [review].
3. Itoh H, Ohkuwa T, Yamazaki Y, et al. Vitamin E supplementation attenuates leakage of enzymes following 6 successive days of running training. Int J Sports Med 2000;21:369-74.
4. McBride JM, Kraemer WJ, Triplett-McBride T, Sebastianelli W. Effect of resistance exercise on free radical production. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:67-72.
5. Evans WJ. Vitamin E, vitamin C, and exercise. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:647S-52S

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