In nature, you will never find a single form of vitamin E; it is found naturally as several different forms that act in different biological systems. There are a family of eight different molecules - four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha beta, gamma and delta).
Gamma tocopherols have recently been shown to have specific and amazing health benefits. This particular form of vitamin E has been shown to provide effective protection from free radicals.
More specifically, researchers have demonstrated that gamma tocopherol provides significant protection from potentially harmful nitrogen oxides. Although alpha tocopherol eliminates the oxidant character of these dangerous compounds, it leaves behind a reactive nitrogen component. Therefore, even when a system contains lots of alpha tocopherol, without gamma tocopherol to block further reactive compounds, damage from inflammation can still ensue. Hence, the importance of a mixture of tocopherols.
Alpha tocopherols have had much press coverage and are used by the food industry to protect from rancidity. They tend to be consumed in much larger amounts than gamma tocopherol, potentially causing imbalances in human biological systems.
It is essential therefore that vitamin E supplements are from natural sources and contain a mix of tocopherols.
Vitamin E’s key antioxidant role makes it an important nutrient to protect from many common degenerative diseases prevalent in modern society including heart disease, tumours and joint disease. Vitamin E helps to support healthy ageing, cognitive, immune and skin health too.
Vitamin E is found in rich natural supply in sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, avocado, asparagus and peanuts
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