Vitamin E is Not Created Equally

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The Pure TheraPro Team

The Pure TheraPro Education Team is comprised of researchers from diverse backgrounds including nutrition, functional medicine, fitness, supplement formulation & food science. All articles have been reviewed for content, accuracy, and compliance by a holistic integrative nutritionist certified by an accredited institution.
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Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is an internal antioxidant, protecting your organs, cells and tissues from oxidative damage. It fights free radicals and works in conjunction with selenium and vitamin C. Vitamin E helps maintain neuromuscular function, supports your immune system, and works with vitamin K to keep your blood at normal viscosity.

Over the years, studies have established the benefits of vitamin E supplementation: managing chronic illnesses, aging, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, dementia, immune function, reproductive health and more.  

Food sources high in vitamin E include avocados, nuts, oils, some leafy vegetables and fish.

When reaching for vitamin E supplementation, though, be wary! Vitamin E is not created equally, so it’s important to read labels carefully, and know what to look for!

Basically, vitamin E is available in natural and synthetic forms. Of course, you want the natural form. Synthetic vitamin E does not come from natural food sources and is usually derived from petroleum products, which is like ingesting gasoline or plastic. Synthetic forms of vitamin E will have a dl- in the prefix.

Is synthetic vitamin E safe? It depends who you ask. More research needs to be done regarding its safety. Most people, however, are skeptical of this synthetic form based on how it's derived and prefer to seek out natural forms. 

Natural vitamin E is listed as d-alpha tocopherol, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, or d-alpha tocopheryl succinate.The most biologically active form of the natural vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol, is readily transported and utilized by the liver.

Aside from how these forms are derived, there are molecular structure differences between synthetic and natural vitamin E that affect how the body utilizes them. Researchers have found that natural vitamin E is far more bioavailable than synthetic forms, which makes sense. The body recognizes the natural form due to its specific binding properties. Transport proteins produced in the liver select the natural d-alpha form of vitamin E and generally ignore the synthetic forms. Your body simply doesn’t know what to do with it.

Research demonstrates that synthetic forms of vitamin E are only about 12% as potent as natural vitamin E due to its lack of bioavailability. Other studies indicate that it would take three times the amount of synthetic vitamin E to equal the bioavailability of natural vitamin E.

Because the body can’t easily recognize synthetic forms, it excretes it at a higher and faster rate, as well, according to studies. The fact that synthetic vitamin E lacks high absorption rates and does not linger in the body also demonstrates that it is not readily absorbed by tissues.

In one Japanese study, healthy women were given natural vitamin E vs synthetic vitamin E. It took 300 mg synthetic vitamin E to equal the blood levels achieved by a 100-mg dose of natural vitamin E.

Natural vitamin E increased twice as much as the synthetic form in both healthy and pregnant women. Umbilical cords showed natural vitamin E levels were three times higher than synthetic vitamin levels.

Researchers tracked short-term tissue assimilation of both natural and synthetic forms in individuals prior to elective surgery. Tissue takes longer than blood to absorb nutrients; natural vitamin E supplementation levels rose higher than synthetic levels after seven to 23 days of supplementation.

If you see vitamin E on our label, rest assured we only utilize it in its natural form.

What is on the label must be in the bottle - no fillers, no excipients, no junk. All products are made in the USA; no raw materials are from China. The ingredients that go into our supplements are are selected based on purity, potency and scientific research. Patented ingredients are utilized when appropriate.

We take "pure" in our name seriously as well as quality assurance.