Vitamin E: Natural vs Synthetic
Vitamin E is a crucial fat-soluble vitamin your body needs every day. It protects your heart, prevents premature aging, and is a super antioxidant that shields your cells from oxidative damage. Besides its protective effects on your cells and heart, vitamin E has many benefits. It helps with the proper functioning of organs and assists in enzyme activity. It also delays cataract formation and arthritic problems. Deficiency of vitamin E increases the risk of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and other neurological disorders. Getting enough vitamin E seems to be critical for young growing adults, the elderly, and women who are or planning to get pregnant. The USDA recommended daily allowance for vitamin E is 15 milligrams per day (22.5 IU) for adults1.
“Vitamin E” a collective term with many benefitsMost of you may not be aware that Vitamin E naturally occurs in eight fat-soluble compounds: four tocopherols and four tocotrienols.
- The tocotrienol isomers can reduce the activity of an enzyme that controls cholesterol production in the body. Many preclinical studies suggest that tocotrienols may help to prevent degenerative diseases2.
- The alpha-tocopherol isomer is known for its antioxidant effects and ability to boost the activity of the immune system3.
- A combination of benefits exist with different forms of vitamin E. It is crucial to get the whole complex supplement, including the tocopherols and tocotrienols, to get the maximum benefit. This is why vitamin E supplements become essential to maximize your benefits.
Natural or synthetic vitamin E supplements: Which is better?When it comes to supplements not all of them fit the bill. You will have to look for a supplement that provides vitamin E from natural sources. It should also offer the other isomeric forms of vitamin E and not just a single vitamin E isomer. Here are the top reasons to avoid synthetic vitamin E Poor quality: When compared to natural vitamin E supplements, synthetic ones are a lot cheaper. But you will not have the same effect as taking a natural vitamin E supplement4. Japanese researchers found that it takes 300 mg of synthetic vitamin E to achieve the same blood vitamin E levels of 100 mg of natural vitamin E supplements. Similar results were found in studies examining the tissue levels of vitamin E. After supplementing with synthetic and natural vitamin E tissue vitamin E levels were higher when taking natural vitamin E supplements5. Potentially harmful: Synthetic vitamin E supplements that provide only one vitamin E isomer can be detrimental. A research report shows that taking one form of vitamin E isomer over others can increase the risk of certain cancer types6. The report indicates that synthetic alpha-tocopherol increases the risk of prostate cancer. Poorly available: Your body does not absorb synthetic vitamin E supplements well. Synthetic supplements have a different structure and form when compared to natural vitamin E supplements. Natural vitamin E comes from whole foods in nature, while synthetic are isolated nutrients that are artificially made in labs.
What to look for when buying natural vitamin E supplements?Choose non-GMO: Most of the vitamin E supplements available in the market can come from genetically modified plant sources. Soybeans, cottonseed, and wheat germ oil are some common GM plants from which most manufacturers source their vitamin E. If you want to avoid genetically modified supplements, check with the manufacturer. Read the label: Manufacturers of natural supplements list food sources from which they originate. The label should also indicate whether they are 100% plant or animal-based. NATURELO's Vitamin E is a premium quality natural vitamin E supplement that comes from 100% plant sources. The product is non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free with vegan ingredients. It provides a blend of mixed tocopherols (alpha-tocopherol and gamma tocopherol) plus tocotrienols, so you get the antioxidant benefits of all eight isomers of vitamin E.
References: 1. Vitamin E 2. Pharmacological potential of tocotrienols: a review, 2014 Nov 12;11(1):52. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-11-52. eCollection 2014 3. Age-associated decline in effective immune synapse formation of CD4(+) T cells is reversed by vitamin E supplementation, 2007 Feb 1;178(3):1443-9 4. Biodiscrimination of alpha-tocopherol stereoisomers in humans after oral administration, 1997 Mar;65(3):785-9 5. Human plasma and tissue alpha-tocopherol concentrations in response to supplementation with deuterated natural and synthetic vitamin E, 1998 Apr;67(4):669-84 6. Synthetic Alpha Tocopherol Shown to Increase Prostate Cancer Risk, March 2012