printable article

Originally published May 20 2004

Different forms of Vitamin E have varied health effects on the human body

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that only one form of Vitamin E -- alpha-tocopherol -- appears to be beneficial in protecting against bladder cancer. Other forms of the popular vitamin, such as gamma-tocopherol (which is consumed in much higher quantities in the United States) offers no such protection.

The research helps explain why some studies seem to show Vitamin E to be effective while other studies show just the opposite: the vast majority of studies make no differentiation between the forms of the vitamin and just lump all Vitamin E together.

Now here's the interesting part to all this: most Americans are consuming vast quantities of the "ineffective" Vitamin E (the gamma form) but very little of the "good" Vitamin E (the alpha form). That's because the ineffective form is high in soybean oil, and soybean oil is one of the most frequently-consumed oils in the western diet because it's cheap to produce and is the primary oil used for the ingredient known as hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil. Most margarine and shortening, for example, is made with soybean oil.

The alpha form of Vitamin E, on the other hand, is found in higher quantities in green vegetables, almonds, sunflower seeds and safflower oils -- foods that most Americans eat in much smaller quantities. As a result, most people exhibit nutritional deficiencies in Vitamin E, say the researchers: the minimum daily requirement is 15mg, but the average American eats just 8mg. This is partly because we eat so many milled grains that have been stripped of their natural Vitamin E content. The whole grain of wheat, for example, contains Vitamin E, but refined white flour has virtually none because the germ of the grain is removed during the milling process.

Clearly, Vitamin E is an important nutrient for good health, and it is well known to be useful for far more than just bladder cancer. Americans need to get more Vitamin E into their diets, and that means eating more healthy oils, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The best sources? Wheat germ, almonds and safflower oil. It is difficult to get enough Vitamin E through foods alone, however, so consider adding a nutritional supplement containing "natural" Vitamin E to your daily diet.


All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit