Vitamin E—A Family of Eight

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient composed of four tocopherols and four tocotrienols, each as alpha, beta, delta and gamma, constituting a family of eight natural isomers. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tocopherols are a class of lipid-soluble compounds known for their antioxidant activities and their role in maintaining cardiovascular health. Tocopherols are important for stabilization of lipid-rich mitochondrial membranes of cells, where they protect against free radical oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. While a lot is known about α-tocopherol, thought to be the most active of the tocopherols, tocotrienols appear to have significant antioxidant activity, and are far more bioactive than tocopherols, resulting in a variety of health benefits. Studies have shown that the synergistic effect of all eight compounds is most advantageous for supporting health.

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