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Vitamin E—A Family of Eight

Vitamin EJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

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 heath benefits. Studies have shown that the synergistic effect of all eight compounds is most advantageous for supporting health.

The major dietary sources of α-tocopherol are wheat germ, nuts and seeds, certain dark leafy greens and vegetable oils, including sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils. Tocotrienols are found in palm oil, annatto and rice bran oil. Largely considered to have nutraceutical properties, supplementation of tocotrienols in various population groups showed beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, immune modulation and cognitive function, as well as neuroprotection and skin defense. It appears that tocotrienols may provide valuable therapeutic and preventative options for age-related diseases, acting as potent cancer-preventive and cholesterol lowering agents. While tocotrienols share antioxidant effects with tocopherols, their anticancer actions appear unrelated to antioxidant actions.

Tocotrienols and cardiovascular disease and stroke: Tocotrienols help lower plasma cholesterol by blocking an enzyme utilized in cholesterol production. Research shows that supplementation can help to lower total serum lipids and LDL cholesterol, with the added benefit of reducing lipid oxidation, a precursor to arterial damage that leads to heart attack and stroke. Tocotrienols may improve heart muscle function, glucose and insulin tolerance, and also reduce inflammatory cells in heart muscle tissue. In addition, tocotrienols have been found to reduce homocysteine, an important contributor to cardiovascular disease. They also may reverse some symptoms of metabolic syndrome by improving lipid profiles and inhibiting new fat deposits.

Tocotrienols and neuroprotection: Normal brain activity results in oxidation, inflammation and toxicity, all factors involved in the process of cognitive decline. Studies have found that those with mild cognitive impairment are more likely to have lower blood tocopherol and tocotrienol levels than healthy people. Tocotrienols may be effective in protecting brain circuitry, as older persons with higher levels of tocotrienols have a highly reduced risk of cognitive decline. Their unique biological properties appear to show great potential as neuroprotective dietary factors.

Tocotrienols and anti-cancer properties: Tocotrienols may impact several factors involved in tumor development and growth. Tocotrienols have been shown to exhibit tumor suppressive, antiproliferative and antiangiogenic activity, helping to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. They also trigger apoptosis, programmed cell death, that shrinks existing tumors, and appear to block an enzyme required for cancer cell invasion and metastasis, the same enzyme blocked by statin drugs.

Tocotrienols are potent gene modulators of numerous enzymes involved in healthy function, helping to suppress inflammation, glycation and other processes that contribute to age-related disease development. Tocotrienols are increasingly recognized for their potential roles in cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease and neurogenerative disease, as well as osteoporosis prevention. Continuous intake of these eight compounds known collectively as vitamin E, is considered advantageous to good health and healthy aging.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements in support of overall health:

E-400 Natural with...E-400 Natural with Mixed Tocopherols by Professional Supplement Center®: E-400 Natural provides pure vitamin E, as bioactive d-alpha, d-gamma and d-beta tocopherols in support of increased antioxidant activity, healthy circulation and tissue recovery. Gluten free formulation.

Delta-Fraction...Delta-Fraction Tocotrienols by NutriCology®: This powerful formula provides delta and gamma tocotrienols derived from annatto beans. This formula is designed for the maintenance of healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increased blood levels of CoQ10 and support for endothelial and metabolic functions. Free of preservatives, diluents and artificial additives. Hypoallergenic formulation.

Gamma E Mixed...Gamma E Mixed Tocopherols & Tocotrienols by Life Extension: This full spectrum formula provides all eight tocopherol and tocotrienol components of vitamin E in support of potent antioxidant protection and overall health. Tocotrienols are sourced from Malaysian red palm oil. Non-GMO formulation.

References:
Tocotrienols, the Vitamin E of the 21st Century: It’s Potential Against Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956867/
A review of characterization of tocotrienols from plant oils and foods. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392014/
Biological Properties of Tocotrienols: Evidence in Human Studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133770/
Tocopherols and Tocotrienols in Common and Emerging Dietary Sources: Occurrence, Applications, and Health Benefits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5085773/

Premier Research Labs – Featured Brand

Premier Research LabsSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorFounded in the 1980’s, Premier Research Labs has become a leader in the development and manufacture of excipient-free cellular resonant nutraceutical products. Formulated to the highest expectations, Premier’s nutritional supplements deliver uncompromising quality and effectiveness in support of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. To ensure the consistent quality of raw materials, qualified trusted suppliers must meet rigorous protocols. All raw materials undergo advanced state-of-the-art photoluminescence screening, as well as QRA™ Quantum Resonance Analysis™ to test for quality, purity and identification, and to quickly identify and eliminate inferior ingredients.

To ensure maximum benefits and optimal clinical outcomes, products are manufactured under extensive quality controls and are carefully monitored through final production, labeling and bottling in an FDA-regulated facility. All products are 100% non-toxic and are free of undesirable excipients, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Premier Research Labs guarantees the quality, potency, purity and efficacy of all their nutritional formulations.

To see the full line of nutritional supplements from Premier Research Labs, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

AdrenaVenAdrenaVen™: This top-selling, high quality, clinically supported nutraceutical is formulated with a synergistic blend of phytonutrients and adaptogenic herbs to help support and strengthen the adrenal glands. Ingredients include eleuthero, rhodiola rosea, organic chlorella and fermented cordyceps. Free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Vegan formulation.

GastroVenGastroVen™: GastroVen™ features three synergistic, broad spectrum nutritional blends that promote healthy digestion and provide support for stomach function. Ingredients include bromelain enzymes, organic ginger, green tea, organic fennel and noni fruit. Free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Vegan formulation.

OcuVenOcuVen™: This proprietary vision and eye support formula features well-researched lutein and zeaxanthin naturally sourced from marigold flowers. Ingredients include a broad range of biocompatible organic botanicals, including turmeric, chlorella and carrot to provide comprehensive nutritional and antioxidant support for overall macular and retinal health. Non-GMO vegan formulation.

UriVen™UriVen™: This powerful, broad-spectrum formula features two botanical-based proprietary blends, Bladder Pro™ and Uri-Cleanse™, for optimal nutritional support of the bladder and urinary tract. Organic ingredients include cranberry, marshmallow, chlorella, alfalfa, olive leaf and blueberry. Non-GMO, vegan formulation.

ThyroVenThyroVen™: This premier nutraceutical proprietary formula provides detoxification support and comprehensive nourishment for healthy thyroid function. Ingredients include kelp, wild bear garlic and organic maca, chlorella, fennel, turkey tail mushroom, turmeric and parsley, as well as naturally occurring iodine, an important mineral for thyroid function. Free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Non-GMO, vegan formulation.

Are “Health” and “Wellness” The Same?

Health and WellnessSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Often used interchangeably, the origins and meanings of the terms health and wellness are not actually equivalent. Very briefly, health is a state of being, while wellness is a pro-active state of living a healthy lifestyle. When tasked with defining health in the 1940’s, The World Health Organization (WHO) delineated health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Per WHO, health is impacted by the social, physical and economic environment, as well as an individual’s characteristics and behaviors. Additional determinants of health include factors over which an individual may have little or no direct control, such as income and social status, education, physical environment, social support networks, health services, genetics and gender.

Wellness is considered multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle and the environment, as well as mental and spiritual wellbeing. Positive and affirming, wellness is about factors that positively influence a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Per the National Wellness Institute (NWI), wellness is considered “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” Further, “wellness is a conscious, self-directed evolving process of achieving full potential.” In short, an active mindful focus on wellness builds the resilience to thrive, rather than just survive. Per the NWI, a wellness approach as a pathway to optimal living includes the benefits of regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength, vitality and personal responsibility, as well as self-care, self-esteem, self-control and a sense of direction.

While many experts cannot agree on a true definition of health, we know that health depends on a balanced diet, regular exercise, proper sleep and good hygiene habits, as well as our social environment and economic status. When the British Medical Journal tasked medical organizations worldwide to redefine the meaning of health, participation was weak, as many viewed this as an extremely ambitious and complex goal. The 38 respondents concluded that only a very small percentage of people would fit into the WHO definition of health. The participants reported they were disinterested in defining health, as their interest was focused on disease, not health. Wellness, on the other hand, goes beyond physical health and has a connotation of happiness and contentment in many areas of life.

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness:

Physical – The realization that adopting healthy behaviors and avoiding destructive habits has a significant impact on wellbeing.

Intellectual – Finding ways to expand knowledge and skills, learn new concepts and seek challenges, as well as recognize creative abilities.

Environmental – The ability to recognize one’s own responsibility to make a positive impact on the quality of one’s environment to support wellbeing.

Emotional – Effectively coping with life, creating satisfying relationships and the ability to acknowledge and share emotions productively.

Financial – Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.

Social – A sense of connection and belonging, as well as a well-developed support system.

Occupational – Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work, while still maintaining balance in life.

Spiritual – The ability to establish peace and harmony in life, as well as a sense of purpose and meaning.

Perhaps, by defining health and wellness, it’s easier to understand the interconnectedness of all the dimensions of wellbeing. As described by the Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, good physical and mental health are linked to healthy choices. Improving physical health benefits mental wellbeing and vice versa. Personal behavior and coping skills and how we deal with life’s challenges and stresses all affect health. While the definition of health may include the absence of disease, wellness is not the absence of illness nor stress. Wellness is the ability to actively pursue a state of good health even when experiencing difficulties in life. Mindfully practicing daily healthy habits, engaging in one’s highest priorities and adapting to changing circumstances contributes to quality of life as one embarks on the continual journey toward optimal health and wellness.

References:
The determinants of health. https://www.who.int/hia/evidence/doh/en/
What is health? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917469/
Eight Dimensions of Wellness. https://cpr.bu.edu/living-well/eight-dimensions-of-wellness/
About Wellness. https://www.nationalwellness.org/page/AboutWellness