Wellness Database: Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and prevents oxidative stress. It may benefit endothelial functioning.
Vitamin E May Improve Endometrial Response in Women with Unexplained Infertility
Summary: In a study involving 53 women with unexplained infertility undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation and intrauterine insemination (IUI), oral treatment with 400 IU/d vitamin E in addition to clomiphene citrate, was found to be associated with an improved endometrial response - with the difference in endometrial thickness on the day of hCG administration significant, between the groups. The authors state, "Vit E administration may improve the endometrial response in unexplained infertile women via the likely antioxidant and the anticoagulant effects. It may also modulate the antiestrogenic effect of clomiphene citrate and the problem of a thin endometrium in these cycles may be adjusted."
Reference: "Vitamin E effect on controlled ovarian stimulation of unexplained infertile women," Cicek N, Eryilmaz OG, et al, J Assist Reprod Genet, 2012 Feb 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Zekai Tahir Burak Women Education and Research Hospital, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Devlet Mah. Subay Loj. Hizirreis Apt.No:19/11 Yenisehir, Ankara, Turkey).
Dr. Louis Ignarro: Antioxidants for Athletic Performance
Antioxidants are a popular and effective group of nutrients that include vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and help prevent cellular damage. As part of the normal oxidation of food to convert it into energy, free radicals are formed. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. Because they have a negative electrical charge, these electrons are drawn to the positively charged protons in nearby cells. This process of “stealing” a proton from a cell’s nucleus can cause cellular and DNA damage, possibly leading to cancers and age related diseases.
Athletic performance and other types of movement increase the rate of blood flow to muscles, which, in turn, delivers more oxygen and other nutrients to the body. As oxygen usage increases, so too does the production of free radicals. You cannot avoid creating free radicals in your body, making protective antioxidants that much more important.
Apart from their other benefits for cardiovascular health, muscle building, and disease prevention, antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries are full of nutrients that provide elementary particles that pair off with free radicals, preventing them from causing cell damage. Antioxidants appear naturally in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in nuts and grains. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of whole fruits and vegetables will help you get a steady supply of antioxidants.
Important antioxidants include:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
In addition to eating foods rich in antioxidants, it is a good idea to increase your intake as part of a daily supplementation regimen, especially when you exercise regularly. Antioxidant supplements can complement your diet as well as keep your antioxidant levels steady during times when you cannot eat your usual balanced diet, such as when traveling for work or competition.
Benefits of Antioxidants
Preventing Muscle Damage – The main benefit of antioxidant supplementation is that it reduces or prevents cellular damage following strenuous exercise. A “cocktail” of antioxidants neutralizes free radical molecules and promotes the healing and growth of muscle tissue during the recovery phase.
Improved Recovery – Many experts in nutritional medicine think that Vitamin E is also involved in the recovery process that follows exercise. Currently, the amount of Vitamin E needed to produce these effects is unknown, but the prevailing opinion is that diet may supply enough Vitamin E for most athletes.
Dietary Antioxidant Sources
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
- Broccoli and brussel sprouts
- Berries, cherries, and red grapes
- Cranberries, apples, and strawberries
- Citrus fruit
- Vegetable oils, nuts, and avocados
- Red wine
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea, cinnamon, turmeric, and curcumin
Recommended Daily Dose
Always consult with your personal physician before starting or stopping any regimen if you are taking prescription or other medication.
- Vitamin C – 2,000-4,000 mg
- Vitamin E – 1,000 IU
- Carotenoids – 25,000 IU
- Zinc – 30 mg
- Selenium – 200 mcg
- Curcumin – 400-1,200 mg
- Green Tea Extract – 100-750 mg
- Resveratrol – 100-200 mg
- Alpha Lipoic Acid – 300-600 mg
- Pomegranate Extract – 1,000 mg
Vitamins E and C May Reduce Upper Respiratory Tract Disease
Summary: In this study, researchers investigated the efficacy of vitamins C and E in reducing the occurrence of Upper Respiratory Tract Disease. In a population-based cohort study conducted in Sweden via web questionnaire, 1509 men and women, ages 20 to 60, reported a total of 1181 occurrences of URTI. Poisson regression modeling was used to control for age, sex, and other confounding factors. The authors saw no correlation between vitamin E from food and a reduction of URTI's among either men or women. Women were associated with a higher food intake of vitamin C, as compared with men. Research suggested that vitamin C from food intake would be sufficient to provide a protective effect against URTI's for women while men might experience reduced risk through supplemental usage of vitamin E and vitamin C.
Supplementation for a Metabolic Tune Up
An optimum intake of micronutrients and metabolites, which varies with age and genetic constitution, would tune up metabolism and give a marked increase in health, particularly for the poor, young, obese, and elderly, at little cost. (1) DNA damage. Deficiency of vitamins B-12, folic acid, B-6, C or E, or iron or zinc appears to mimic radiation in damaging DNA by causing single- and double-strand breaks, oxidative lesions or both. Half of the population may be deficient in at least one of these micronutrients. (2) The Km concept. Approximately 50 different human genetic diseases that are due to a poorer binding affinity (Km) of the mutant enzyme for its coenzyme can be remedied by feeding high-dose B vitamins, which raise levels of the corresponding coenzyme. Many polymorphisms also result in a lowered affinity of enzyme for coenzyme. (3) Mitochondrial oxidative decay. This decay, which is a major contributor to aging, can be ameliorated by feeding old rats the normal mitochondrial metabolites acetyl carnitine and lipoic acid at high levels. Many common micronutrient deficiencies, such as iron or biotin, cause mitochondrial decay with oxidant leakage leading to accelerated aging and neural decay.
Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Mar 1;423(1):227-34.
Vitamin E Improves Antioxidant Defenses
Summary: In a study involving 40 children (20 with type 2 diabetes mellitus and the other 20 served as controls), supplementation with vitamin E was found to decrease MDA and significantly decrease MDA levels and increase GSH. The authors state, "Vitamin E ameliorates oxidative stress in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus patients and improves antioxidant defense system."
Reference: "Vitamin E supplementation may ameliorate oxidative stress in type 1 diabetes mellitus patients," Gutpa S, Sharma TK, et al, Clin Lab, 2011; 57(5-6): 379-86. (Address: Department of Biochemistry, J.L.N. Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India).
Vitamin E Reduces Oxidative Stress
Summary: In a study involving Chinese women with the metabolic syndrome, results indicate that supplementation with vitamin E may reduce oxidative stress and improve lipid profile. The women were randomized to 100 IU/day, 200 IU/day, or 300 IU/day of vitamin E for a period of 4 months. At intervention end, significant decreases in total plasma cholesterol were observed in the 200 IU and 300 IU groups. Additionally, decrease in HDL cholesterol, and significant decreases in malondialdehyde and erythrocyte hemolysis were observed in all three groups, particularly in the 300 IU group. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "VitE provided marked benefits in reducing oxidative stress levels and improving lipid status in women with MetS."
Vitamin E Reduces Risk of Lung Disease
Summary: In a study involving 38,597 women enrolled in the Women's Health Study (WHS), a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, factorial trial of vitamin E (600 IU every other day) and aspirin (100 mg every other day), results indicate that vitamin E supplementation may be associated with a reduced risk of chronic lung disease. During 10 years of follow-up of women in the vitamin E and placebo groups, 760 first occurrences of chronic lung disease were reported in the vitamin E group compared with 846 in the placebo group. Using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for confounders, supplementation with vitamin E was associated with a 10% reduced risk of chronic lung cancer. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "In this large randomised trial, assignment to 600 IU vitamin E led to a 10% reduction in the risk of chronic lung disease in women."
Reference: "Randomised vitamin E supplementation and risk of chronic lung disease in the Women's Health Study," Agler AH, Cassano PA, et al, Thorax, 2011 Jan 21; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA).
Supplementation With Vitamins Extends Life
Summary: In a study involving 10,837 males between the ages of 50 and 69 years who smoked at least 5 cigarettes/day at baseline, and who were followed up with past the age of 65 years, vitamin E reduced as found to be associated with a 24% reduction in mortality when subjects were 71 years of age and older, while having no such effect on those 65-70 years of age. In subjects who smoked less than a pack of cigarettes/day, and whose vitamin C intakes were higher than the median, vitamin E extended the lifespan by 2 years at the upper limit of the follow-up age span. The authors conclude, "This is the first study to strongly indicate that protection against oxidative stress can increase the life expectancy of some initially healthy population groups. Nevertheless, the lack of effect in 80% of this male cohort shows that vitamin E is no panacea for extending life expectancy."
Reference: "Vitamin E may affect the life expectancy of men, depending on dietary vitamin C intake and smoking," Hemila H, Kaprio J, Age Ageing, 2011 March; 40(2): 215-20. (Address: Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, POB 41, Helsinki FIN_00014, Finland).
Supplementation Beneficial for Diabetics
Summary: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 10 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, supplementation with vitamin E (800 mg/d) plus lipoic acid (600 mg/d) or vitamin E alone were both found to significantly improve the vitamin E/total cholesterol ratio. Improvements in lipid fractions were found in patients receiving lipoic acid and vitamin E, both alone and in combination, and improvements in HOMA index were found in the lipoic acid group. No significant changes in insulin sensitivity were found. These results warrant further investigation into the effects of lipoic acid and alpha-tocopherol in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Reference: "The effects of lipoic acid and alpha-tocopherol supplementation on the lipid profile and insulin sensitivity of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial," de Oliveira AM, Rondo PH, et al, Diabetes Res Clin Pract, 2011 March 1; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil).
Supplements Effective in Treatment of Diabetes
Summary: In this review, the authors searched 12 databases and identified scientific studies published in the last 3 years that investigated the effects of various nutritional supplements on blood glucose. The authors identified that the following nutritional supplements were found to be effective in the treatment or prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus: vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, melatonin, red mold, emodin from aloe vera, rheum officinale, astragalus, and cassia cinnamon. No significant benefit was found to be associated with beta-carotene supplementation. The authors conclude, "Ranging from preclinical to clinical, there is evidence that nutritional supplements may be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of type 2 diabetes. Health providers should investigate drug-nutritional supplement interactions prior to treatment."
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Nutrients and Diet
Alpha Lipoic Acid Amino Acids Antioxidants Arginine Calcium Carnitine Carotene Chromium Picolinate Citrulline Coenzyme Q10 DHEA Fat Fiber Fruit and Vegetables Garlic Ginkgo Biloba Glucosamine Vegetarian Diet Green Tea Iron Lutein Lycopene Magnesium Mediterranean Diet Multivitamins Nitric Oxide Nuts Olives Omega 3 Fatty Acids Policosanols Polyphenols Pomegranate Probiotics Pycnogenol Red Yeast Rice Salt Saffron Selenium Soy Theanine Vitamin A Vitamin B Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K White Tea Zinc