Benefits of Vitamin E
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What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is one of several nutrient building blocks required for our organs to function properly. As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps prevent or delay certain types of cell damage. All forms of vitamin E are fat soluble, which means that vitamin E needs to be taken with fat in order to be absorbed. Thus, we recommend all Cooper Complete multivitamins be taken with a meal that contains fat. For the majority of Americans, this usually falls in line with lunch or dinner. If you want to take vitamins with breakfast, add nuts or low-fat yogurt to your meal to aid in absorption (and for optimal nutrition).
Dietary sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and whole grains, and many supplemental forms also exist. Two main categories of vitamin E supplements are “natural” and “synthetic.” All Cooper Complete products use the natural form, as it is more bioavailable and potent. Studies have shown that significantly more synthetic vitamin E is needed to equal the result of taking the natural form of vitamin E.
Your product’s label indicates its form of vitamin E. If the form starts with “d” such as “d-alpha tocopheryl succinate,” then it is the natural form. If it starts with “dl,” then it is synthetic. This can be remembered by thinking, “d” stands for “delivers,” “dl” stands for “delivers less.”
What does Vitamin E do?
Vitamin E deficiency has been known to occur in people with specific genetic disorders and in very low-weight premature infants. It is not a common deficiency, but as science unfolds, we are learning about more areas where supplemental vitamin E may benefit our health.
Vitamin E does not seem to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, but there is some clinical research showing it may slow the decline of cognitive functions in patients who have moderately severe cases. In 2014, a study was conducted with approximately 600 patients who were already taking memory medication for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that those who took 2,000 IU vitamin E (in this case, the synthetic form), experienced a slowed advancement of the disease compared to the placebo group. These findings translate into about a six month delay in the disease progression. Vitamin E did not seem to have the same effect on those with mild cognitive impairment.
A large study suggests taking 200 IU of vitamin E for more than 10 years has been shown to be associated with a reduced risk of bladder cancer mortality.
The science linking increased vitamin E intake to a decrease in cardiovascular disease is still developing. Several observational studies have reported positive findings, although clinical research has presented conflicting results thus far. The most encouraging results came from the Women’s Health Study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The study followed 40,000 women for 10 years, each taking 600 IU of vitamin E every other day (so approximately 300 IU per day). While there were no significant differences in rates of overall cardiovascular events or all-cause mortality between the group being supplemented and the control group, there were two positive findings for the women taking the Vitamin E supplement.
The women taking vitamin E over the 10 years had a 24 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death compared to the women not taking vitamin E, and women 65 years of age or older had a 26 percent decrease in nonfatal heart attacks and a 49 percent decrease in cardiovascular death rate. Later analysis also found that women who took the vitamin E supplements had a lower risk of developing serious blood clots in the legs and lungs, with women at the highest risk of such blood clots receiving the greatest benefit. Dr. Walter Willet, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, believes the jury is still out on vitamin E and heart health, as he recently stated, “I don’t think we have the final answer.”
PMS and Dysmenorrhea (Painful Menstruation)
For younger women, 400 IU vitamin E daily seems to reduce symptoms of anxiety, cravings and depression associated with PMS. Another study found that 200 IU vitamin E taken twice daily (or 500 IU vitamin E daily) starting two days before menstruation and continuing through the first three days of bleeding reduced menstrual pain severity and duration and decreased blood loss in women who have dysmenorrhea.
Vitamin E taken orally in conjunction with standard Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment has yielded better results for reducing pain (although not inflammation) than when not taken.
While not conclusive, some of the research focused on vitamin E is promising. Here at Cooper Complete, we will continue to watch as new information is published so our customers can rest assured that the products they purchase reflect the most up-to-date science.
If a vitamin E supplement seems like a good fit for your health needs, Cooper Complete Elite Athlete contains 800 IU vitamin E, while the multivitamins Basic One and Cooper Complete Original, Eye Health and Dermatologic Health contain 200 IU. To find out more about these products, visit www.coopercomplete.com or call us at 888.393.2221.
Article provided by Karen Perkins, Cooper Concepts Account Executive.