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Vitamin E Shown to Protect Cells from Oxidative Stress

Recent research suggests that daily supplementation with vitamin E could reduce the risk of erythrocyte hemolysis, or rupture of the red blood cells, which is a marker of oxidative stress. This can lead to anemia, jaundice, and reticulocytosis.

The researchers were based at Qingdao University in Qingdao, China. The results were published online ahead of print on April 26, 2012, in the journal Nutrition Research.

Participants in the study included 180 healthy adults between the ages of 55 and 77. They were assigned to one of four daily interventions for a period of 4 months:

1. a placebo

2. 100 mg dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate

3. 200 mg dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate

4. 300 mg dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate

Dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate is the synthetic type of the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E.

At the end of the study the researchers noted that vitamin E blood levels increased by 0 in the placebo group, by 71% in the 100 mg group, by 78% in the 200 mg group, and by 95% in the 300 mg group. They also noticed reduced instances of erythrocyte hemolysis ranging from 20% to 38% in the vitamin E groups

Improvements in ethrocyte membrane fluidity were observed in all three vitamin E groups. Additionally, they noted that levels of malodialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress, were significantly decreased in the vitamin E groups.

Vitamin E has eight different forms: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and has been shown to help many aspects of the body. Tocopherol is the most common form in both the American diet and European diets. Tocotrienols are less prominent in the Western diet.

Previous studies have shown that vitamin E intake is associated with lower cholesterol, healthier skin, maintaining a proper hormonal balance, and preventing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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