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Vitamin E - Softgels & capsules

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant nutrient. The term 'vitamin E' refers to a family of eight related compounds, the tocopherols and the tocotrienols. The four major forms of vitamin E are designated alpha, beta, delta and gamma on the basis of chemical structure. The tocotrienols are less widely distributed in nature than the tocopherols, although they are present in palm oil. Alpha-tocopherol, commonly known as vitamin E, is the form found most in nature and the most biologically active. As an antioxidant, vitamin E protects against damage to the cell membranes. It prevents saturated fatty acids and vitamin A from breaking down and combining with other substances that may become harmful to the body. Not surprisingly, fats and oils that contain vitamin E are less susceptible to rancidity than those not containing this nutrient. Vitamin E also has the ability to unite with oxygen and prevent it from being converted into toxic peroxides. This leaves the red blood cells fully supplied with the pure oxygen that the blood carries to the heart and other organs. Vitamin E plays an essential role in cellular respiration of all muscles, especially cardiac and skeletal. Vitamin E makes it possible for these muscles and their nerves to function with less oxygen, thereby increasing their endurance and stamina. It also causes dilation of the blood vessels, permitting a fuller flow of blood to the heart. Vitamin E also aids in bringing nourishment to the cells and strengthening the capillary walls. Although severe vitamin deficiency is quite rare, low levels are typically seen in patients with malabsorption syndromes (such as coeliac disease) and in premature infants. Symptoms of deficiency include nerve damage and poor coordination. The best food sources of vitamin E are polyunsaturated vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, wheat germ and whole grains.

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