Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamin E – Know the Differences!

It wasn’t until recently that I learned that all forms of Vitamin E are not created equal! In a nutshell, natural vitamin E is naturally occurring in green plants while synthetic vitamin E is chemically formulated in a laboratory. Natural vitamin E has higher bioavailability, higher assimilation rates and is three times as potent as synthetic vitamin E. So this means that you would have to take 120 IU’s of synthetic vitamin E compared to taking 30 IU’s of natural vitamin E, which is the recommended daily value. Because synthetic vitamin E is much cheaper to produce it is the most common form used by vitamin companies. How can you tell the difference? Natural Vitamin E is labeled as “d-alpha-tocopherol acetate” while synthetic vitamin E is labeled as “dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate.” Notice the dl-prefix! When searching for multivitamin supplements, it is crucial to make sure that they are using the natural form of vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol acetate).

Why Natural Vitamin E?

Natural Vitamin E is found in tissues of green plants and it is the only form that our bodies recognize and assimilate to meet our recommended daily allowances. Therefore, it is the most biologically active form of vitamin E. You can certainly get Vitamin E from your diet and it is essential to also take a multivitamin supplement, preferably in liquid form to make sure you are getting the correct amount of Vitamin E, and other essential vitamins.

Benefits of Natural Vitamin E:

  1. Neutralizes potentially damaging free radicals
  2. Essential to the health of nerves, cell membranes and red blood cells
  3. Boosts immune function
  4. Reduces the risk of heart attacks in healthy people
  5. Inhibits melanoma cell growth
  6. Protects retina and helps prevent the development of cataracts
  7. Helps lower cholesterol
  8. Has anti-oxidant properties
  9. Reduces risk of of developing cancer
  10. Acts as a blood thinner – prevents blood platelets from clumping
  11. Reduces risk of sunstroke
  12. Essential for healthy skin and hair

Who should take Vitamin E:

  • Those who wish to or are unable to get enough vitamin E in their diet
  • Those who cannot absorb fat or are on a low-fat diet (i.e., Atkins Diet)
  • Those diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis
  • Those diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease
  • Those who have had all or part of their stomachs removed
  • Those who have had Gastric Bypass Surgery

Sources of Vitamin E:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Spinach
  • Wheat Germ Oil
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Multivitamin Supplements – liquid form

Note: Before making any dietary changes, consult with your physician if you take Coumadin or other anticlotting or blood thinning drugs.

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