What Is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is not a single vitamin but naturally occurs as a fat-soluble vitamin family that consists of at least 8 distinct molecules.
These molecules include 4 tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and 4 tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta).
Generally, tocotrienols are more active against chronic disease while tocopherols are more protective of the nervous system.
Vitamin E (for short) is a powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble compounds from oxidative damage by free radicals (molecules that damage cells).
Q: How does vitamin E protect cells from oxidative damage by free radicals?
A: As an example, the oxidative damage to low density cholesterol (LDL – bad type) appears to lead to the deposition of cholesterol in the arterial wall (plaque formation) leading to atherosclerotic disease, commonly called hardening of the arteries.
Regarding inflammation, mast cells are activated by oxidized LDL which results in increased expression of inflammatory cytokines. This finding suggests that vitamin E antioxidant activity in reducing oxidation of LDL lipoprotein may also reduce mast cell activation. Mast cells reside near small blood vessels and, when activated, release potent mediators involved in allergy and inflammation.1
In neutralizing free radicals, vitamin E itself is oxidized (changed) to a free radical. Importantly, conversion of vitamin E back to the original form occurs by reaction with vitamin C. These two vital anti-oxidants go hand in hand.
Vitamin E is essential for normal cerebellar brain function (lower brain), peripheral nerve health and healthy skin.
What Is Vitamin E Deficiency In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?
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Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB, Varvara G, Murmura G, Saggini A, Caraffa A, Antinolfi P, Tete’ S, Tripodi D, Conti F, Cianchetti E, Toniato E, Rosati M, Speranza L,Pantalone A, Saggini R, Tei M, Speziali A, Conti P, Theoharides TC, Pandolfi F. Role of vitamins D, E and C in immunity and inflammation. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2013 Apr-Jun;27(2):291-5. ↩