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Vitamin E Increases Glucose Uptake And Insulin Sensitivity

Vitamin E is well known as a major dietary antioxidant. Both aerobic and resistance training result in increased oxidative stress. Therefore vitamin E represents a potential valuable supplement to mitigate the stress response to exercise. Almost all supplemental forms of vitamin E (also referred to as tocopherols) are the alpha form, although emerging research indicates that gamma tocohoperol may be the preferred form because in addition to fighting free radicals, it also has potent anti-inflammatory actions. However the effects of gamma tocopherol may go beyond an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory according to results published by Australian researchers. They showed that muscle cells made insulin resistant had greater glucose uptake and improvements in insulin signaling when they were exposed to gamma tocopherol. The result show gamma tocopherol is involved in more efficient disposal of glucose which is important for athletes to speed glycogen synthesis as well as non-athletes to help better manage blood sugar and insulin levels.

Singh I, Carey AL, Watson N, Febbraio MA, Hawley JA. Oxidative stress-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle cells is ameliorated by gamma-tocopherol treatment. Eur J Nutr. 2008 Sep 18. [Epub ahead of print]