Natural vitamin E healthier than vitamin E supplements

Vitamin E in foods may offer more health benefits than vitamin E supplements.

How to know if you’re getting your vitamin E’s worth? The July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers guidance:

  • Vitamin E comes in many forms. Foods contain the alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, and delta-tocopherol forms of vitamin E. Research suggests that these forms -- when obtained from foods such as nuts, vegetable oils, whole grains, tomato products and dark-green leafy vegetables, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers.
  • Supplements appear less beneficial. Studies haven’t consistently shown that supplemental vitamin E provides the same risk-reducing effect as does vitamin E in foods. It could be because supplements typically contain only the alpha-tocopherol form, or have it in high amounts.
  • Some supplements could be better than others. Supplements that contain mixed tocopherols -- including natural alpha-tocopherol and other forms such as gamma- and delta-tocopherol, may provide better health benefits.
  • Food offers other benefits. Foods high in vitamin E also are rich in other compounds that can protect against disease. Even if you take a supplement, don’t neglect rich dietary sources of vitamin E.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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