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Posted in: Ask the Experts | May 9, 2009

benefits of vitamin e supplements Vitamin E is an essential nutrient we must get in our diets, and unlike other vitamins that serve as cofactors, vitamin E has the primary function of a chain-breaking antioxidant. That means it quenches harmful free radicals that cause damage to membranes and other structures important for normal cell function. Is this important for athletes – you bet! Intense exercise is a physiologic stress that involves both a mechanical and biochemical response in muscle, tendon, and ligaments. The mechanical stress involves physical disruption or damage to cell membranes and normal cell structures adversely affecting cell function. There is also an associated biochemical stress response that involves generation of free radicals (oxidative stress) that triggers an inflammatory cascade. To facilitate optimal tissue repair and enhance recovery from intense exercise, a key concept is to protect cell membranes and mitigate the oxidative stress and inflammatory response to exercise. There are several forms of vitamin E and not all are created equal. Alpha tocopherol is the vitamin E form routinely used in clinical intervention trials and dietary supplements because of its well-established antioxidant effects. In fact almost all vitamin E supplements use this form with a few exceptions. Gamma tocopherol, on the other hand, is a potent but uncommon supplemental form of vitamin E with unique properties beneficial for recovery from exercise. In addition to antioxidant activity, gamma tocopherol also has reactive nitrogen scavenging ability and anti-inflammatory effects and therefore represents a more therapeutically effective form of vitamin E. Suggested dosage would be 100-300 mg/day gamma tocopherol.

-- answer by: Jeff Volek.


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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.

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