Other forms of vitamin E more effective than alpha-tocopherol

Other forms of vitamin E more effective than alpha-tocopherol

Alpha-tocopherol, the ‘vitamin E’ sold in UK shops provides disappointing results in research on cancer but studies on the other seven forms are showing significant advantages, according to a recent meta-analysis.

There are 8 sub-members of vitamin E – 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. In each case the forms are alpha, beta, gamma and delta. In UK high streets only alpha-tocopherol is allowed for sale and even then it is usually synthetic. Increasingly, research shows it is all but useless, especially in the field of cancer.

However, according to a new report (1) which studied all the latest research, there are significant benefits to be found with the other seven forms.

* Firstly, these vitamin E forms are much stronger than alpha-tocopherol, having effects against Cox-2 and inflammation, transcription factors and signalling mechanisms.

* Secondly, these forms – but not alpha-tocopherol – cause pro-death and anti-proliferation in cancer cells.

* Thirdly, they are also quickly metabolised to carboxychromanols which have even stronger anti-proliferation and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Indeed the seven other forms, but not alpha-tocopherol, have been shown to be effective at slowing cancer progression in animals.

The report reviews the research available.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist said, “Sadly this was known to be true when I first started writing about vitamin E 15 years ago. Frankly, alpha-tocopherol should be banned under the Trade Descriptions Act; it just isn’t vitamin E. Vitamin E is comprised of 8 sub-compounds – I call it ‘Total vitamin E’. And that is what you need to supplement with. The EU, in only allowing the open sale of alpha-tocopherol, and most often the synthietic version (which even has research showing it can increase cancer risk), is short-changing us. Look for a supplier of the All Natural ‘total’ product.”

Go to: Vitamin E


  1. https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/8/6/850/4772196
2019 Research
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