Critical Importance of Gamma E Tocopherol Continues to Be Overlooked
By Kirk StokelJanuary 2011
By Kirk Stokel
Neurodegenerative Disease Defense
A particularly dangerous free radical known as reactive nitrogen species has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. High intakes of vitamins C and E have been associated with substantially lower risk of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.31,32 Gamma tocopherol scavenges reactive nitrogen species and may prove beneficial in reducing the impact of the disease.33
Neurodegenerative diseases also have a large inflammatory component. Human trials of supplemental vitamin E in neurodegenerative diseases have almost exclusively used alpha tocopherol, leading many experts to call for new studies using gamma tocopherol because of its more potent anti-inflammatory effects.5 In a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, gamma tocopherol was more effective than alpha tocopherol at preventing loss of the essential neurotransmitter dopamine, the chemical defect that produces Parkinson’s symptoms.34
Combating Inflammatory Airway Diseases: Allergies and Asthma
Asthma and allergies are closely related conditions that are triggered by our immune system going into red alert in response to substances in the environment. In numerous studies, gamma tocopherol prevents migration of inflammatory cells into the airways at the beginning of an attack of asthma or allergic rhinitis, and also reduces overgrowth of mucous cells in the nose and upper airways.35 Gamma tocopherol supplementation decreases overall oxidative stress and suppresses excessive release of inflammatory cytokines in both normal and asthmatic human subjects.36
Oxidant molecules such as ozone are particularly dangerous for people who suffer from these inflammatory airway conditions.37 Studies of gamma tocopherol have shown broad anti-inflammatory effects in allergic animals experiencing airway inflammation by exposure to ozone.37,38
Vitamin E is one of the earliest-known and best-studied vitamins. Published studies demonstrate that people with higher intakes of gamma tocopherol may achieve a considerable reduction in their risks of common age-related diseases.
Regrettably, most health conscious individuals take only alpha tocopherol and are deprived of the optimal and synergistic benefits provided by the gamma tocopherol form of vitamin E.
Human studies indicate benefits with supplemental doses ranging from 100 mg to 800 mg of gamma tocopherol a day. A review of the scientific literature indicates that most people should supplement with at least 200 mg of gamma tocopherol each day.1,39
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