What is Vitamin E? What does it do for your health?

What is vitamin EThere’s been a lot of confusion about vitamin E. Its claimed by some that there no difference between natural vitamin E versus synthetic vitamin E. That’s like saying there’s no difference between natural and artificial food.

What is Vitamin E?

Naturally occurring vitamin E is not actually a single compound. It is a collection of eight fat-soluble compounds. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored by the body for a time and retrieved for use later. Of the eight compounds, four are tocopherol isoforms and four are tocotrienol isoform.

The first thing you should know is what “tocopherol” is. It is only the antioxidant part of the vitamin E complex (a complex means many parts.). It would be equivalent to wanting to eat an egg but only getting the shell.. Its purpose is to protect the internal structure of the vitamin E complex. There are seven tocopherols, alpha being one of them. Tocopherol is not even the active part of the vitamin; it’s just the preservative.

Vitamin E complex in nature contains not only seven tocopherols but these other parts too: E2 (helps oxygenate the heart tissue to prevent angina). E3 (assists in preventing digestive ulcers, Manganese (assists in supporting ligaments) and Coenzyme Q10 (assists in heart function.).

Vitamin E – An Antioxidant

Oxidative stress has been associated with inflammation, chronic disease, neuro-degeneration, adrenal fatigue, and different types of cancers. It’s also one of the main factors in premature aging and age-related disorders. That’s why a focus of anti-aging and regenerative medicine is on reducing oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant activity in the body.*

The main purpose of vitamin E is connective tissue repair (ridding scars), supports sex hormones (a lack can make someone sterile) and giving the tissue more oxygen (a deficiency of vitamin E can cause an increase in oxygen of 250%). It’s great for preventing muscle soreness after exercise, healing cardiovascular damage and preventing acne in teenagers. This is because during these adolescent years there is a sudden demand for sex hormones and this depletes the vitamin E storage in the skin leading to acne.

Most signs and symptoms of vitamin E deficiency are related to a deterioration in the functions of the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). These symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include:

  • Muscle weakness. Vitamin E is needed for the CNS to function properly.
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities. This is a type of neuropathy that is a result of nerve damage, where the nerves don’t signal accurately.
  • Difficulty with walking and coordination. Nerve damage o the motor nerves creates difficulty with coordinating movement, such as walking.
  • Problems with vision. Again, as the eye is part of the nervous system and vitamin E deficiency affects the nerve cells, the light receptors in the retina can cause vision to gradually deteriorate.
  • Vitamin is essential for proper fetal development during the first trimester of pregnancy? This is because of its role in brain and nervous system development. Low vitamin E levels in an expecting mother could harm your unborn baby’s development!

Also helpful

Manyc women use vitamin E oil as a go-to for fighting wrinkles. And yes, this vitamin has many properties that not only help prevent wrinkle formation but could speed up healing and prevent scar formation.

Vitamin E works together with vitamin C to provide adrenal gland support. It can also help with hormone balancing. This vitamin has amazingly effective antioxidant properties that may help improve many conditions associated with the adrenals.

Vitamin E is best found in raw vegetables (in the oils of these greens). It’s also in grains; however, the vitamin E content in grain flour only lasts six days after it is grown. It has been observed that most vitamin E deficiencies are in people that eat refined flour products – breads, pastas, cakes, cookies, etc.

By eating refined food that once contained these vitamins, one can deplete their own reserves. It’s like drinking distilled water (without minerals) – your body will try to balance it to make it whole, depleting its own mineral reserves. The other big problem in taking too much synthetic vitamin E (tocopherol) is the possibility of calcium being taken out of the bone by taking too much of the tocopherol.


Dr. Royal Lee found that if you give a person the vitamin E2 portion in a patient with angina (heart cramp), it would stop within ten minutes. E2 relaxes heart muscle tightness by quickly ridding the waste acids in heart muscle. This product is called Cataplex E2. Its given to patients with any angina type problems – it’s more of a corrective product.

Learn more and Order: Cataplex E2 a product of Standard Process)

Or go to StandardardProcess.com and find a health a care professional in your area who has these products (search is at the bottom of this page)

For information on health problems and what can be done, see the MCVitamins.com Index. You can also email us and get help.

*Michael Lam, MD, MPH, ABAAM on Vitamin E

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