What is Gamma Vitamin E and Why Should I Take It?
Gamma vitamin E is a tocopherol, a group of chemical compounds known for their vitamin activity inside the human body. It is one of the two common tocopherols in the diet, the other one being alpha tocopherol. Most countries specify a recommended value for regular intake of vitamin E, which is alpha tocopherol. However, recent studies suggest that gamma tocopherol has unique health benefits.
Vitamin E is best known for its antioxidant activity. Many scientists believe that alpha tocopherol is the most prevalent at the cellular level, but decades-long studies has yet to come to a conclusion whether they lower the risk of diseases that are inflammatory in nature, such as coronary heart disease. On the other hand, gamma vitamin E is quite more common in the diet, notably in North America, the reason why research has shifted from alpha tocopherol to gamma tocopherol in recent years.
Gamma vitamin E and Free Radicals
Stops Lipid Peroxidation
Like most tocopherols, gamma vitamin E is a lipid-soluble antioxidant, which means it is soluble in fats. In contrast to water-soluble vitamins, it is stored in cells and tissues of the body instead of being excreted hours after absorption. Both alpha tocopherol and gamma tocopherol are potent antioxidants. They are one of the most studied of all scavengers of reactive oxygen species, including free radicals.
Tocopherols play a central role in the upkeep of cell membranes. They stop any potential threat that follows the metabolism of oxygen. Reactive oxygen species are natural by-products of cellular respiration. Radicals in particular disrupt cellular activities and damage the lipid bilayer in a process called lipid peroxidation. Gamma vitamin E has been observed to actively neutralize free radicals.
Prevents Nitrosative Stress
The immune system makes use of a group of molecules derived from nitric oxide and superoxide to get rid of pathogenic microorganisms. These molecules are collectively called reactive nitrogen species. Like reactive oxygen species, they are capable of damaging cellular organelles and even bigger tissues. And they trigger a chain reaction called nitrosative stress when not properly disposed of.
The chemical structure of gamma vitamin E slightly differs from that of alpha tocopherol, allowing it to perform physiological functions that other vitamins can’t. It interacts with both reactive nitrogen species and reactive oxygen species, effectively quenching them before they cause nitrosative stress.
Gamma vitamin E
Promotes Heart Health
It has been well documented that patients afflicted with coronary heart disease have lower levels of gamma tocopherol in the blood in comparison with healthy individuals. Whether there is any direct benefit to its supplementation is still under scrutiny, though a number of scientists believe that high serum levels of gamma tocopherol is a reliable indicator of heart health.
People who eat large quantities of plant-based foods are in fact less susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, inasmuch as they also consume higher amounts of unsaturated fats and gamma tocopherol in the process. Gamma vitamin E supplements are an option that would benefit those who choose meat over vegetables.
Gamma Vitamin E is available in Softgel forms at your Health Food Store. Give your Body a fighting chance against free radicals by taking Gamma Vitamin E Daily!