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The Vitamin Alphabet (Part III)
Like the B vitamins, Vitamin E is actually the collective name for a set of eight tocopherols (? -, ?-, ?-, and ?-), which correspond to four tocotrienols – antioxidant fat-soluble vitamins.
Alpha- (or ?-) tocopherol is the only form that is consistently recognized to meet human requirements. Therefore, dietary supplements of vitamin E can contain other tocopherols and tocotrienols, but they usually focus on alpha-tocopherol, as it is more compatible with the liver.
Vitamin E deficiencies are comparatively rare, although premature babies weighing less than 1,500 grams may be subject to vitamin E deficiency. If untreated or unsupplemented, symptoms may expand to include ataxia, retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, skeletal myopathy and impaired immune function.
To avoid such problems, it is best to get your vitamin E through a healthy diet rather than dietary supplements. The essential nutrient occurs naturally in such foods as spinach, almonds, hazelnuts, avocado, asparagus, milk, olive oil and rice. In other words, sauté your meats and vegetables in olive oil rather than butter.
Maintaining a healthy intake of vitamin E can also reduce the risk of contracting chronic diseases associated with free radicals such as cardiovascular disease and the dreaded cancer.
Because the human body is incapable of manufacturing essential fatty acids, we must supplement it with omega-3s and omega-6s (including linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid). You hear these terms thrown around a lot these days. Perhaps it is because the masses are finally realizing how important fatty acids are to a healthy a balanced diet. They keep our hormone levels balanced, our immune systems tweaked and our cholesterol levels regulated in addition to several other functions. Sometimes, these valuable fatty acids are appropriately referred to as vitamin F.
Believe it or not, there are more vitamins that correspond to our alphabet. However, it’s up to you to pursue more information on those such as vitamin G (riboflavin), vitamin H (biotin), vitamin I, J and even K. See if these nutrients apply to your customized nutritional needs.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.