Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gamma E Tocopherols Protect Against Heart Disease, Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease

Health conscious individuals would cite vitamin E as an essential antioxidant necessary for cardiovascular health and protection from cancer. There are a number of different tocopherol forms of vitamin E known as isomers and it’s important to understand that both the alpha and gamma types must be available in the body to lower risk from disease.

The alpha form has been shown to inhibit the production of new free radicals and gamma tocopherol is required to trap and neutralize existing free radicals. Optimal health is dependent on receiving both forms from proper diet or supplementing as necessary.

Most Vitamin Formulations Only Contain Alpha Tocopherol
Alpha and gamma tocopherol forms work in synergy to provide antioxidant support and reduce levels of damaging systemic inflammation. The alpha form is the most abundant and best known form and is used exclusively in many multi vitamin formulations. This means that the gamma type must be provided through diet to provide proper balance of the two isomers. The gamma variety is the most common form of the vitamin found in food sources including many nuts, seeds and natural oils.

Most vitamin formulations contain 400 mg of alpha tocopherol. Nutrition experts advise that a minimum of 100 to as much as 400 mg of the gamma form be taken to offset and balance the alpha version. Food sources typically provide 5 to 25 mg of gamma tocopherol per serving and can only supply a small part of the daily requirement. Supplementation may be necessary to reach optimal saturation of this fat soluble super nutrient.

Gamma Tocopherol Protects Against Atherosclerosis
Gamma tocopherols provide specific protection against the inflammatory induced damage that leads to the development and proliferation of atherosclerosis. The results of a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology show how the gamma isomer has the unique ability to block stress induced inflammatory chemical messengers and favorably induce changes to the inner endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. Gamma tocopherols also increase the production of nitric oxide that helps to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

Gamma Tocopherol is a Powerful Anti-Cancer Agent
The gamma form of vitamin E helps to fight cancer through a variety of critical protective mechanisms. Information published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides insight to how gamma tocopherol traps free radicals known as reactive nitrogen species that cause DNA strand mutations and can lead to cancerous mutations. Another property of gamma tocopherol is the ability to regulate molecules known as cyclins that trap cancer cells and prevent them from reproducing and spreading.

Vitamin E Shown to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk by Half
The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has published the results of a study indicating that those individuals with the highest blood levels of all forms of vitamin E were 55% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over a six year period. The study found the antioxidant free radical neutralizing potency of vitamin E was responsible for reduced risk from dementia.
Vitamin E is well known as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient that is critical to human health. It`s important to know that there are alpha and gamma tocopherol forms of the vitamin that work together to protect against cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. In addition to a diet rich in nuts and seeds many people will need to supplement with full spectrum vitamin E to achieve optimal disease protection.

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