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Nutrition for Optimal Wellness

Vitamin E FAQs

Is your vitamin E a "natural vitamin E" or synthetic?
We do not carry any synthetic Vitamin E, which is indicated by the dl-alpha prefix (as in dl-alpha-Tocopheryl acetate). All of our Vitamin E is the all-natural d-alpha form.
What type of vegetable oil is used in your Vitamin E softgels?

The vegetable oil used in our Vitamin E products is soybean oil. For those persons allergic or sensitive to soy or soy products, one might look to NOW® Dry E-400 capsules. This Vitamin E product is in a dry form and though also soy derived, it has no additional soy oil or soy derived ingredients.


What's the difference between Alpha and Gamma and Tocopherol?

In order to answer the question correctly we need to review what Vitamin E is. Vitamin E is a family of essential fat-soluble nutrients that act as powerful antioxidants. In nature there are 8 substances that have been found to have vitamin E activity: alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol; and alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta tocotrienols. The four different isomers from both the tocopherol and tocotrienol groups all have different biological activities and therapeutic benefits.

According to research d-alpha-tocopherol has the highest bioavailablity and is the standard against which all the others must be compared. Human blood and tissue contains much more alpha-tocopherol than gamma-tocopherol even though gamma-tocopherol is the predominant form of vitamin E in our diet. It's suggested that the liver metabolizes both alpha and gamma forms but uses a special protein called alpha-tocopherol transfer protein to preferentially place more alpha than any other tocopherol into the VLDL and eventually the LDL cholesterol carries it through the bloodstream to the tissues. The liver metabolizes gamma-tocopherol to 2,7,8-trimethyl-2- (beta-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychromin (gamma-CEHC) which is absorbed in some tissues, sent back to the intestines via the bile and mostly excreted in the urine. Some research indicates that the active CEHC metabolite may have natriuretic activity and play a role in determining how much fluid and electrolytes may pass through the kidneys thereby influencing many important physiologic activities in the body.


Which NOW® Vitamin E product should I take for a good blend of mixed tocopherols? Which is better for gamma tocopherols?

Your best bet for a good blend of mixed tocopherols in a softgel form is NOW® Vitamin E with 20% Mixed Tocopherols. We also carry a liquid supplement that contains 80% mixed tocopherols, which contains the best overall mix of tocopherols. These two formulas will also supply the greatest amount of gamma tocopherols.
What is the difference between Unesterfied Vitamin E and just regular Vitamin E?
Vitamin E (tocopherol) can be chemically combined with acetic acid or succinic acid to form a new more stable compound called an esterified E; Tocopheryl Acetate for example. This is more stable but needs to be uncombined by the body to release the active E portion: tocopherol. When you purchase unesterified E it is still uncombined and is the active tocopherol. Most nutritionists prefer this. Most of our E's are this form. Look for the word tocopherol instead of tocopheryl.
Can you clarify if your product Vitamin E-400 IU - Mixed Tocopherols/Unesterified have any form of SOY in it? My son is deathly allergic to soy and your description does not indicate what type of vegetable oil is used.
Yes, it has soy. All natural Vitamin E is derived from a mixture of vegetable oils, including soy. Most people with soy intolerances can use natural Vitamin E, unless soybean oil has been added to the formula as a synergistic base, because of the degree of distillation and separation used to concentrate the vitamin.


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