Serum Micronutrient Concentrations and Decline in Physical Function Among Older Persons
With some negative research on Vit E that was published several years ago, many physicians who do not understand the physiology behind Vit E began to recommend patients stop taking it. So, instead of taking the opportunity to educate their patients on Vit E differences (different tocopherols, tocotrienols, natural synthetic), we’ve really messed them up further.
There is absolutely no doubt that Vit E plays of positive role on our health, but there are some caveats. Mother Nature provides a blend of tocopherols and tocotrienols in foods, with gamma-tocopherol being the dominant form. The vast majority of supplements for Vit E are only the synthetic alpha-tocopherol form. High intake of alpha will lower serum levels of gamma.
So, the idea that we would have some limited problems with high dose only alpha tocopherol supplementation is not that surprising. We should’ve used this research as a teaching tool for our patients. The problem is that we’ve been seeing some evidence of increased rates of diabetes and now declining physical function in patients with lower serum levels of Vit E.