The term vitamin E describes a family of eight antioxidants, four tocopherols (alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-), and four tocotrienols (also alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-).
Alpha-tocopherol is the only form of vitamin E that is actively maintained in the human body; it is the form of vitamin E found in the largest quantities in the blood and tissue. Alpha-tocopherol is the form of vitamin E that appears to have the greatest nutritional significance, but there is more and more evidence that all eight forms of vitamin E working synergistically in the body are important for optimal benefits.
The main function of vitamin E in humans is as an antioxidant. Free radicals are formed primarily in the body during normal metabolism and also upon exposure to environmental factors such as cigarette smoke or pollutants. Vitamin E, is uniquely suited to intercepting free radicals and preventing a chain reaction cellular destruction. Vitamin E helps to maintain the integrity of cell membranes throughout the body. Vitamin E plays a major role in how cells communicate with each other, their genetic activity and cell proliferation.
Click here for more info on antioxidants and how they work.
Foods Rich in Vitamin E
There are a lot of them, including some of our top SuperFoods. Here are 15 we love.
- Raw Seeds
- Swiss Chard
- Mustard Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Hempseed oil, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, and safflower oil are good, too. Learn how to buy a good olive oil here.)
- Pine Nuts