TO "E" OR NOT TO "E" ?
This Technical Communication is in response to an article published on Nov 10th 2004 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers at Johns Hopkins examined 19 different vitamin E studies between 1966 and 2004 to a meta-analysis. The total number of subjects (age 47 - 84 years old) in these 19 studies was 135,967. The dosages of vitamin E ranged from 16.5 to 2000 IU per day. The meta-analysis suggests that too much of vitamin E (400IU or more per day) increases the risk of all-cause mortality.
Meta-analyses are often highly speculative because of the different variables in each of the studies such as source of vitamin E (natural or synthetic), study duration, health/disease condition of subjects, etc. Hence, they by no means offer definitive proof of anything, due to the lack of uniform protocols and patient groups
Perhaps - on the other hand, it goes to show that a single nutrient vitamin E (ie : alpha-tocopherol - synthetic or natural) is not the panacea. It is against conventional wisdom to take mega-doses of one nutrient without considering the potential side effects. As a matter of fact, we have seen this before - in 1996 with the beta-carotene debacle (The ATBC and CARET studies). These two studies provide evidence that taking beta-carotene alone rather than a multi-carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene, lycopene, lutein - as produced in nature), may increase the cancer risks among smokers. This may be because all these carotenoids work synergistically as a team - recharging and supporting each other to confer the health benefits.
Similarly, a high dosage of alpha-tocopherol alone has been shown to deplete the body's gamma-tocopherol. Despite alpha tocopherol's action as an antioxidant, gamma tocopherol is required to effectively remove the harmful peroxynitrite-derived nitrating species. Because large doses of dietary alpha tocopherol displace gamma tocopherol in plasma and other tissues, the current wisdom of vitamin E supplementation with primarily alpha tocopherol should be reconsidered. Other forms of vitamin E - gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol and certainly tocotrienols have been proven to have unique health properties.
Taking a single form of vitamin E (ie : alpha-tocopherol alone) denies the very fact that nature put seven (7) different forms of tocopherols and tocotrienols there for a reason.
We should be taking the wholesome full spectrum vitamin E : d mixed tocopherols + d-mixed tocotrienols (E COMPLETE) - as that which is produced and found in nature. Like the carotenoids, all these different forms of vitamin E work synergistically and depends on each other for optimum functionality.
Natural phytonutrients just don't work well in isolation from each other. We sincerely believe (from scientific evidence) that most people would benefit from taking a full spectrum Vitamin E supplement that consists of d-mixed tocopherols + d-mixed tocotrienols, and that this would be safer than just the alpha-tocopherol alone.
Carotech Inc - The Leading & Largest Supplier of Full Spectrum Tocotrienol Complex